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15 Pet Reunions That Will Melt Your Heart

Can you imagine the anguish and heartache of being separated from a missing beloved pet? Read how heartbreak turned into heartwarming reunions when these pets found their way home again.

OliveCourtesy SF SPCA


Olive, is one of the #CampFire cats—a hashtag used to find displaced pets of the California wildfires. After the wildfires ravaged her home, she was brought to the San Fransico SPCA with burned paws and no family. Luckily her mom Ashton had a friend who spotted the missing Olive on the SPCA Facebook photo album. It will be a while before Olive’s home is ready for occupants again, but a foster family has graciously offered their home to care for Olive until her house is ready.

WalkerCourtesy SF SPCA


Walker is one lucky cat. Sadly, his home and pet siblings were lost in the Camp Fire blaze but Walter, who is 15 years old, managed to survive. He was found in a Savemart parking lot with badly burned paws and taken to the San Francisco SPCA, where he received medical attention. The SPCA added his picture to their Facebook page album, where his family found him! Walker’s family drove hundreds of miles to be reunited and were so grateful they gave a generous donation to help other Camp Fire animals. Here are 9 essential tips for safe pet evacuation.

LucasCourtesy SF SPCA


Reunions aren’t just for pet parents—sometimes a pet sibling is waiting for a lost brother or sister to come home too. Lucas lost most of his home in the Camp Fire and was separated from his dad Alberto and doggie sibling. Pet parents like Alberto don’t intend to abandon their beloved pets, but in times of a natural disaster, evacuation orders occur so quickly, or in some cases, pet parents aren’t home when an evacuation occurs. Thankfully all three were reunited via the San Francisco SPCA. Alberto was beyond excited to have his family complete again and said Lucas’s doggie sibling seemed happy for the first time since the fire.

riverCourtesy Best Friends Animal Society


Samantha and David had just adopted Rose from Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) when they decided to take her on an outing to a garage where David worked. They left the door slightly open to let in air and light, thinking it was too small for Rose to slip out—but that’s precisely what this curious pup did. After putting up flyers and searching for months, they resigned to Rose not coming back, so they began a new search on BFAS to adopt again. Samantha couldn’t believe what she saw—a dog called River that looked like Rose. She immediately contacted BFAS and confirmed the telltale traits of her Rose to River. A sweet reunion—and microchipping followed. Ready to adopt? Here are 41 dogs who need a home right now.

SampsonCourtesy North Valley Animal Disaster Group


Sampson’s owner and two cat siblings were fleeing from the Camp Fire in their truck. As they approached the edge of town, traffic came to a stop. People were leaving their vehicles as the flames were fast approaching. Samson, his owner, and cat siblings made a run for it, but Sampson suddenly stopped and wouldn’t budge. Sampson led everyone down a different path. The owner realized Sampson saved their lives as the original path had deadly downed power lines in it. A reunion filled with gratitude and loved ensued a few days later when the owner picked up Sampson from the emergency shelter a few days later.

Peggy SueCourtesy The Humane Society of the United States

Peggy Sue and Wesley

Hurricane Harvey devasted Texas, and many people had to flee in a hurry. Pet parents like Eugene certainly don’t want to leave their pets behind, but sometimes pets are separated from their pet parents in these dire circumstances. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Beaumont Animal Care worked together to save Peggy Sue and Wesley from a flooded Beaumont. Eugene was relieved and happy to see his friends again at the shelter.

MarleyCourtesy The Humane Society of the United States


As floodwaters rose quickly in the Beaumont, Texas area following Hurricane Harvey, HSUS and Beaumont Animal Care responded to calls from residents requesting help getting their pets and stranded animals to safety. Marley, a cat, was rescued from his flooded neighborhood. He may not have been crazy about the rescue boat ride, but he was surely purring in delight to see his family who was thrilled to see him again. These photos of sleeping cats will make you smile.

MooseCourtesy The Humane Society of the United States

Moose and Bullet

Losing your home is devasting. The emotional and practical impact is monumental, especially when you’re not in a position to keep your beloved pets with you. When the California wildfires were raging the HSUS was able to keep pets, like Alexis’s dogs, Moose, and Bullet at their emergency temporary animal shelter while homeowners like Alexis worked to rebuild their lives, including finding new places to live with pets. It was a long month for Alexis, but when she finally reunited with Moose and Bullet, they were so happy to see her, the doggie kisses and tail wagging were non-stop.

PepéCourtesy McKamey Animal Center


Pepé’s world was turned upside down the day before Hurricane Micahel hit. His owner fell ill and was taken by ambulance to the hospital and Pepé was taken to Albany Humane Society, but the shelter lost power and water the next day when the hurricane hit. In response, BFAS, a partner of Albany Humane Society transported the animals to safe places. Pepé ended up in Chatanooga, Tennessee where Homer, the owner’s son tracked down Pepé. Finally, Pepé could snuggle in his mom’s arms again safe and sound in his own home—with a newly inserted microchip to boot.

DodgerCourtesy Best Friends Animal Society


A couple of years ago Dodger escaped through an open gate at his Los Angeles home, along with his doggie companion Gigi. Despite posting signs and looking for two months, the family never found their beloved pets. Dodger was pulled from a Los Angeles Animal Services shelter shortly after that and came into Best Friends’ care at its Mission Hills pet adoption center. Despite his loving demeanor, he was never chosen for adoption and remained with Mission Hills, wooing everyone on staff. Fast forward two years later. The BFAS was on TV promoting adoption when Dodger’s mom flipped on her TV. She immediately called and was reunited with Dodger. The family hasn’t found Gigi but hopes she found a forever home with a family. These adorable puppy pictures will make your heart melt.

RascalCourtesy Best Friends Animal Society


Rascal’s mom Pamela had fallen on some pretty tough times; both her siblings fell seriously ill and needed her help and one eventually passed away. Shortly after that a financial hardship hit and Pamela was losing her home. She had to make the heartwrenching decision to place Rascal with a rescue organization, hoping to come back for her when her financial situation improved. But by the time she was able to do so, Rascal had already been adopted via the BFAS. His new family adored him, but he wasn’t adjusting well and wasn’t very happy and went back to the BFAS. That was just fine with Pamela because now she could get Rascal back and together their future looks bright.

DudleyCourtesy Linda LeBlanc


It was a bone-chilling 22 degrees below zero when Dudley, a newly adopted puppy, arrived at his family’s home in Maine. He was scared and shy and slipped out the door just minutes after his arrival. His family frantically searched for him into the night to no avail. They were beside themselves knowing their new puppy was out in the cold alone. They called Maine Lost Dog Recovery who gave them advice on how to find Dudley. After five day’s of high hopes and dead-end leads, someone reported a Dudley sighting in their neighbor’s backyard. With the help of the recovery group, they were able to trap him and bring him home where he finally warmed up to the notion of having a loving family. These adorable animal pictures will definitely make you say “aww!”

BuddyCourtesy Best Friends Animal Society


Yessina hadn’t seen Buddy since Hurricane Harvey dumped torrential rains on Texas neighborhood and Buddy dug his way under her fence and disappeared. She called her local society, but he wasn’t there. Just as she was about to give up hope, she checked Facebook and saw Buddy on Houston Pets Alive. Her next stop was the Pet Reunion Pavilion in Houston where Buddy was waiting. He heard her voice from two rows over and started jumping on his hind legs and begging to get to his momma. Before leaving the pavilion, Buddy got microchipped, so if he gets out again, he will be found quickly.

SpunkersEric Kayne, AP Images/Courtesy The Humane Society of the United States


Frieda was a very concerned cat mom when she was forced to leave Spunkers in a temporary emergency shelter operated by the HSUS in Butte County because of the California wildfires. It wasn’t easy leaving Spunkers at the shelter even though she knew it was the safest place for her while she arranged new living arrangements. She regularly called for updates and to check on Spunker’s well-being. The day after Thanksgiving her worries came to an end when she was happily reunited with Spunkers.

MaxCourtesy Best Friends Animal Society


Just as Hurricane Irma was blowing into Florida and causing thousands of people to evacuate, Max, an elderly dog who is half-blind and nearly toothless was found at a gas station in Lauderhill. Wendy, who works for BFAS, saw Max’s picture on Facebook and offered to foster him until his owner claimed him. But Max was miserable. He wouldn’t eat, cuddle, or respond to Wendy. She placed flyers in Max’s neighborhood hoping to reunite Max with his owner. Her hopes were realized when Max’s mom saw a flyer and immediately came to pick him up. Max’s disposition went from down-in-the-dumps to over-the-top ecstatic. His tail was wagging and he smiled when he saw his mom. Next, check out these 32 adorably funny cat and dog photos you’ll instantly love.

Lisa Marie Conklin
Lisa Marie Conklin is a Baltimore-based writer who writes regularly about pets and home improvement for Reader's Digest. Her work has also been published in The Healthy, HealthiNation, The Family Handyman, Taste of Home, and, among other outlets. She's also a certified personal trainer and walking coach for a local senior center. Follow her on Instagram @lisamariewrites4food and Twitter @cornish_conklin.

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