More than a year after a coonhound named Jake went missing from his home in Peoria, Arizona, he was found more than 2,000 miles away. But thanks to 20 selfless strangers, it took Jake just a few days to get back home and be reunited with his family.
How Jake wandered off from his Arizona home only to be found in Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania is a total mystery. After being found near a YMCA in Pennsylvania and taken to an animal rescue shelter, Jake’s microchip revealed that his owners were in Arizona, just outside of Phoenix.
“We are just really baffled by it,” says Renae Metz, who made the call to Jake’s owners. “We thought maybe a truck driver possibly found Jake in the middle of the night and didn’t know what to do with him and brought him home, but we don’t know that that’s a fact.”
While they were relieved Jake had been found, his owners couldn’t just fly across the country to pick him up with a newborn baby at home. So Metz did the next best thing: she organized a cross-country relay to bring Jake back home.
According to Google Maps, it’s more than 2,200 miles from Roaring Springs, Pennsylvania to Peoria, Arizona. The drive takes an estimated 32 hours to complete.
Fortunately, Metz has a sister who works as a transportation coordinator for rescued animals. Together, they organized 20 different people between Pennsylvania and Arizona who volunteered to drive Jake part of the way. Together, they got him home in one piece.
“We had 20 different drivers, three overnights and a lot of stops for Jake,” joked Metz.
The first driver left Roaring Springs last Friday and by Monday Jake was back home in Arizona. Many of the drivers took pictures of Jake along the ride, and all of them were happy to help and be part of an amazing story about a lost dog who finally returned home.