REYNOLDSVILLE — After being lost and far away from home for eight weeks and two days, Brutis the boxer has been reunited with his family.
Animal rescues and pet lovers everywhere have been sharing the “Homeward Bound” story of a missing dog named Brutis — a story that now has a happy ending.
Kelly Gunsallus, who is the coordinator and administrator of WAW Pet Recovery of Blair County, said the brave boxer’s home away from home is in Doniphan, Nebraska, with the Getchell family.
The WAW organization was founded in 2016, with the goal of finding missing pets and reuniting them with their owners.
The boxer was lost around 10:30 p.m. at an Interstate 80 Reynoldsville rest stop on Oct. 28, Gunsallus said. Brutis was riding with his owner, truck driver Ralph Getchell, when he jumped out and was “clipped” by another truck pulling in.
Getchell searched the area for a while after the dog fled, but eventually had to leave, Gunsallus said.
“His story was posted on social media, and he was on a lot of lost-and-found pages,” Gunsallus says.
Even after a month had passed, Brutis’ family and fanbase did not abandon hope of finding him.
Ralph’s wife Linda Getchell, her granddaughter Dawn, and husband Eric, returned to the area Nov. 30 through Dec. 8, putting up flyers and searching around the small Jefferson County area of Ohl, where Brutis had been often spotted.
Brutis was sighted near Ohl resident Teresa Buzard’s house, which is where rescue volunteers tried calming him and setting out food and traps in an attempt to catch him.
Brutis’ story became so widely known by Facebook users and supporters that it was called “Adventures of Brutis.”
Megan Alexander, a Corsica volunteer, fostered Brutis until he was able to go back to his family. He was found with a couple of scrapes, but no serious injuries.
Brutis’ story is not just remarkable because he was found safe, but because so many local businesses, people and organizations came together to look for him, Gunsallus says.
She credits Brutis’ capture to both Alexander and Buzard, as well as to WAW Pet Recovery volunteers, who helped with the flyers, feed station and even set out cameras. Staar Trucking also assisted in keeping an eye out for Brutis’ return.
“We all worked well as a team, without conflict, and got it done,” she said. “Dogs are survivors. They can live in any condition for months.”
“Team Brutis” pictures and volunteers holding “found” posters can be found all over Facebook, shared by people who are pleased to see a happy ending in a situation that could’ve ended otherwise.
Brutis was returned to his owners in the Jefferson County town of Summerville on Jan. 4, Gunsallus says, and made it home to Nebraska on Monday. A video was also posted of Brutis finally being reunited with his “mom,” Linda.
“The story shows the kindness and compassion of strangers coming together to bring Brutis safely home,” Gunsallus says. “There wasn’t one person that said no when they were asked to help.”