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Missing dogs found 21 months later in Georgia

Posted at 11:27 PM, Nov 30, 2014
and last updated 2015-11-25 23:27:52-05

One Livingston County family is giving thanks Sunday night after their dogs were found safe some 920 miles from their home.

Marley and Forest, a Lab-Husky mix went missing during a snowstorm in 2013. Their owners searched everywhere for the pups, but had no luck finding them.

"They didn't mean to run off," said Anie Smith, the dogs' owner. "The snow fell too fast, they did not have leashes on and I could not catch up with them."

Smith has been looking for her dogs ever since that day. After following up on leads, she had no luck in finding them. Eventually, she created a Facebook page to spread the word of her missing pups, but for nearly two years, her efforts hit a wall.

"When the ads came out and no one called, it was crushing," said Smith. "There was not a single day that went by that I didn't search for them. I went everywhere."

This Thanksgiving, she sat down to eat her meal, and had an alert on her Facebook. It was a message from a follower.

"I had a message and it was a picture of two dogs," said Smith. "It said they were at a vet clinic in Georgia, 920 miles from home."

Smith arranged for the dogs to be brought home. They just arrived Saturday. But, upon arrival, Smith noticed the dogs were much different than the day they went missing.

"They're not in good shape," Smith told 7 Eyewitness News. "They're thin, their hair is no longer soft, like the day they went missing. Their hair is falling out. You can see every rib on their body. You can see their backbones."

One of the dogs has a large gash on his back that he's needed surgery on. The other lost its tail. The animals have an appointment with the vet on Monday.

Although the family is grateful and happy their dogs are home, they're heartbroken at the pain they have endured.

"I'm heartbroken to think of what they went through," said Smith. "I am so heartbroken because I look at them but not just the physical hurt. They're not the carefree pups they were the day they were playing and got lost."