New Jersey police travel to Myrtle Beach to return dog

Nearly one month ago, a Myrtle Beach man and his dog, Bella, were separated after a traffic accident in New Jersey.

They were reunited in a spectacular way last week when officers from the Wall Township Police Department drove over 600 miles to return the basset hound to her owners.

On July 15, the 34-year-old Myrtle Beach, S.C., man, who wishes to remain anonymous, needed medical assistance after a wreck. Bella wasn’t injured but was sent to the Monmouth County Humane Society.

After her owner was treated, he returned to Myrtle Beach but was in no shape to take Bella with him, so she remained at the humane society until a plan could be figured out for her return.

That’s where responding officers Frank Kuhl, Michael Tancredi and Adam Cox come in.

Not wanting to leave Bella stranded, Kuhl followed up with the humane society.

It’s the center’s policy to hold an animal for seven days before it is put up for adoption, General Manager Veronica Ehrenspeck said. Bella’s time was ticking, but neither of Bella’s two owners was able to make the trip to New Jersey to get her.

They were distraught by the possibility of losing Bella, Kuhl said.

Armed with a plan to eventually return Bella to her owners, Kuhl worked with Ehrenspeck to take temporary custody of the dog.

Initially Bella had severe separation anxiety, howling as loud as she could if left unattended, Kuhl said. But she soon found her calm place sleeping with Kuhl’s daughter every night.

After about two weeks, Kuhl along with officer Tancredi drove the approximately 642.3 miles from Wall Township, New Jersey, to Myrtle Beach to return Bella to her owners.

On Aug. 4 the officers arrived in Myrtle Beach around 3 p.m.

When they arrived at the Myrtle Beach home, Kuhl described it as “absolute pandemonium in the house.”

“When I turned over the leash, she looked so excited,” Kuhl said about Bella’s owner.

As soon as the owner opened the door to let Bella into the house, she screamed “Bella’s home, Bella’s home!” to the other owner and Bella’s two offspring, who quickly greeted the group with excitement.

The Wall Township Police Department posted the story to its Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.