Dog reunited with owner after missing for five years


When Cali escaped from her Columbus area home five years ago, Jan Finke wasn’t sure if he would ever see his four-legged friend again.

Thanks to a Good Samaritan, he recently was able to embrace his chocolate Labrador retriever once again.

That person had found the dog along U.S. 31 between Seymour and Columbus and kept her for about a month.

A couple of weeks ago, they decided to take Cali to Linda Jackson’s home between Brownstown and Seymour. Jackson has rescued cats and dogs for six years.

Jackson took the dog to the veterinarian to be treated for severe ear infections and hematoma on her ear flaps, and she had the dog scanned for a microchip.

Fortunately, Cali had one, and the veterinarian contacted the owner and was told he had been looking for the dog for five years.

“When they called me and told me that, I just broke down and cried, especially when they told me the people were crying,” Jackson said. “They couldn’t believe it. This is almost a Christmas miracle story. I think this is one of the most wonderful things in the world. Everybody is just ecstatic over this.”

Jackson learned the dog had been hit by a car as a puppy, and the family had spent thousands of dollars to have a plate put in its hip.

They came home from work one day five years ago and the dog was gone, and they had been looking for her ever since.

Jackson said she mostly has taken in stray or abandoned cats over the years. Once she started volunteering at Red Sky Rescue, a dog shelter in Medora, she accumulated a few rescue dogs.

Since August, she said she has had 29 cats spayed or neutered and found them a new home. She only gives the cats to people who are going to keep them inside their home.

“Last year, I took in six pregnant females and raised all of the kittens and bottle fed eight kittens found with no mother,” she said. “This is what I do.”

She did all of that out of pocket, so she decided to start a 501(c)(3) organization, Saints on Our Side Animal Rescue, to be able to get some financial help. She has turned in her paperwork to the state and is waiting to obtain her license.

“I love animals,” Jackson said. “I think they are God’s creatures, and I feel like if people don’t spay and neuter, they are not responsible pet owners, so you’ve got all of these stray and abandoned animals out there, and it’s not their fault.”

Jackson also stresses the importance of having animals microchipped.

She said she recently found three small dogs trying to run across a local highway, and she stopped her car and picked them up. They were not microchipped, but once she put a photo of the dogs on Facebook, she was able to locate the owner.

“We push microchips in the rescue world,” Jackson said. “If you microchip your dog, you can get them back.”

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