Orlando family reunited with dog in Morristown after nearly a decade

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MORRISTOWN (WATE) – An Orlando family made the trek to Morristown Saturday to be reunited with a dog they haven’t seen in nearly a decade.

Lester Bridgeman owned the dog, who they called Coyote, but he and his kids had to give the dog up when they moved. Bridgeman gave the dog to a trainer at a pet store. That happened in 2009.

“Eventually, we lost track of the dog. Caleb (his son) and I had seen him one time when we were in buying pet supplies. That was the last time we actually saw him. We knew he (the trainer) had moved to Tennessee. We just figured we’d never see him again.” 

Fast forward to two weeks ago, Hamblen County Humane Society received a dog. They say a good Samaritan rescued the dog.

“A good Samaritan was on their way home and saw a car stop. The car sped off real quick. That’s when they realized they had pushed the dog out of the car and left him. The dog had a microchip and when we scanned it, an Orlando address came up,” said Courtney Hicks, Animal Care Coordinator, Morristown Hamblen Humane Society.

The humane society contacted the Bridgeman’s, who thought it was a scam at first. 

“They weren’t sure if sure if it was real or not.  So, they looked us up on Facebook and did their research and realized we’re good. They called us back and sent a picture of their dog, so we could verify that it was their dog,” said Hicks.

Bridgeman’s wife, B.J., says she’s thankful for the good samaritan who picked up the thier dog.

“Thank goodness for that good person and good soul in Morristown who picked the dog up and brought him to the humane society,” said B.J.

The executive director of the humane society says this reunion shows how vital microchips can be.

“Microchips are very important, they are a $20 investment a year, but they are a very important investment to make,” said Misty Kirk, Executive Director for Morristown Hamblen Humane Society.

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