Grand Strand shelter reunites NC woman with dog missing for 10 months

GEORGETOWN, SC (WBTW) – An animal shelter in Georgetown helped reunite a North Carolina woman with her dog, almost a year after she lost her.

“It’s a miracle she’s here. I never stopped thinking about her and I can’t believe I have her back. I have my little girl back,” says Anne Crabtree. It’s been almost 10 months since she came down to Litchfield Beach from Charlotte, with her black Labrador Gracie, for a 4th of July party. As soon as the fireworks went off, Gracie got scared and ran off. That was the last time Anne saw her. “It was the most horrible car ride back home. I came down here two weekends out of the month looking for her, for three months after that.”

But on Friday, Anne got the call she was starting to think she’d never get – Gracie had been found. Georgetown County Animal Control brought her into Saint Frances Animal Center Friday afternoon. The shelter called Anne immediately after scanning Gracie’s microchip. “I just couldn’t believe it,” says Anne. “It was overwhelming. I was like ‘How does she look? Is she ok?’ And they were like, ‘Yeah for being gone that long’. I’m amazed at how good she looks.”

Less than 24 hours after getting the good news, Anne made the familiar drive back down to Georgetown County. “I’ve made that same drive so many times with the thought in my head, ‘Ok I’m going to find her this weekend. I’m going to find her this weekend.’ And then coming home and crying the entire way home. But this time, just knowing, I’m going down and I’m getting Gracie. She’s coming home this time.”

Anne says she couldn’t have gotten through the last 10 months without the members of the Facebook group “Lost Pets of Horry/Georgetown Counties.” They kept searching for Gracie along the Grand Strand while Anne was back in Charlotte. The group’s co-administrator Carol Duty says, “we looked continuously. Every black lab that was found in Murrells Inlet, Pawleys Island area – ‘Is that Gracie?’ We never gave up hope.”

Saint Frances Director Ed Ritchie says he reunites over a 100 pets with their owners each year, and the one thing that helps them do that more than anything else is – “microchipping. I’m a big advocate of microchipping. Every every pet, cat and dog, should be microchipped.”