Owner Travels 1,800 Miles to Reunite with Pup Missing 17 Days: ‘Pets Are Truly Family

Panfilo is back on the east coast after an unexpected stay out west.

Last week, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society shared the heartwarming story of the Maryland dog who left his owner’s sight while traveling through Santa Fe, New Mexico, and ended up separated from his pet parent.

Panfilo was traveling with owner and truck driver Roughiatou — who “never gave up hope” that she would find the pup — when he went missing. Before reuniting with his owner, Panfilo was brought to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter as a stray.

While monitoring shelters online 17 days after losing her dog, Roughiatou spotted the pup on the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society website, prompting her to fly back to New Mexico from her home in Maryland to get him.

“Stories like this make us all smile a little wider and remind us that pets are truly family,” the shelter’s director of philanthropy, Pamela Weese Powell, wrote in a Facebook release. “We’re so grateful to be here as a resource to families and to our community.”

In a video of Panfilo’s reunion with Roughiatou, which the organization shared on its Facebook page, the dog walks out to greet his owner, who squats down to shower the pooch in affection.

The pup jumps all over Roughiatou and gives her licks while wagging his tail. Roughiatou then hugs a shelter worker and wipes tears from her face.

“While in the shelter’s care, Panfilo received a full medical workup, enrichment that included pupsicles and frozen kongs, and volunteers even began doing nose work with him,” the Facebook post about Panfilo’s reunion shared.

Dog who Went Missing in Maryland Found 1,800 Miles Away in New Mexico 17 Days Later
Panfilo the dog with back with his owner Roughiatou at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society.

The heartfelt reunion comes five months after Bentley, a dog who went missing three years ago in Memphis, reunited with his late owner’s sister.

The pit bull was found wandering around Philadelphia in May and was brought to the Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia’s shelter, where he was scanned for a microchip. After attempting to contact the pup’s owner, the shelter reached the pet parent’s sister, Dee, who informed the shelter that Bentley’s owner died during the dog’s time away.

Dog who Went Missing in Maryland Found 1,800 Miles Away in New Mexico 17 Days Later
Panfilo the dog reunites with his owner at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society.SANTA FE ANIMAL SHELTER/FACEBOOK

In a wholesome clip shared by ACCT Philly, the dog reunites with Dee three years after initially going missing. “My sister was walking him, and she fell down ’cause she had cancer,” Dee says through tears during the moment, explaining that the pair “looked for him and we couldn’t find him.”

“I don’t know how he got all the way to Philadelphia, but I am so grateful,” she adds. “He was all we had to remember her by.: