CONCORD Shorty, the furry pooch that grabbed national attention because of his remarkable story of survival, is weeks away from being reunited with his family in Louisiana.
Shorty was taken to the Cabarrus Animal Hospital recently after he was found walking alongside a road in Cabarrus County. There, Dr. Blake Peurifoy scanned his microchip, which linked him back to Louisiana.
Shortys previous owner, who had given him up for adoption, said he learned the dog had been found after getting a call from a monitoring chip company.
I said oh my gosh, I cant believe it, Ron Jackson told NewsChannel 36, the Observers news partner.
Jackson adopted Shorty in November of 2006 during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Nearly two years later, Hurricane Gustav threatened the devastated area once again. Jackson and his family headed north to find shelter in Charlotte with loved ones.
The family later decided to give Shorty up for adoption.
Wed just put things back together after Katrina, said Jackson, explaining the decision to give Shorty up for adoption. It was hard.
Jackson and his family thought that Shorty had passed away after all these years.
But the dog was alive, and had been adopted by a Concord family.
Talayza Miller and her grandmother said Shorty had been missing since Sept. 10 when they allowed him outside and he wandered off.
I was going out of my mind, and my neighbor tried to calm me down, said grandmother Oclisha Miller. I just didnt want anyone to put him down thinking he was that sick.
The family said they never knew Shorty had a microchip.
I do want him back, said 15-year-old Talayza, but since they lost everything in Hurricane Katrina and they lost him I wouldnt mind them keeping him or anything because it was their dog first.
Dr. Peurifoy said Shorty has a heart murmur and a serious oral disease that needs to be treated before he can be reunited with Jackson.
Shorty will receive surgery either this week or next, and then need a week to recover, said Peurifoy. He said the $2,000+ veterinarian bill will be free of charge.
According to him, several corporations and organizations have offered to re-unite Shorty with his Louisiana family.
This was like a ray of hope or something that we never thought could happen, Jackson said.
We never thought we would see Shorty again.