Dumped dogs rescued after 3-day search in Seminole County

Two abandoned dogs that quickly became trending topics on Central Florida social media were reunited Thursday night.

On Tuesday, workers at the Brevard County SPCA got the call from animal control officers in Seminole County -- a dog found abandoned in a dog park was scanned for a microchip and linked back to the rescue league in Titusville.

The shelter quickly recognized the dog as Copper, a 2-year-old mixed breed that had been with them for more than a year, before getting adopted out with his best friend, Star, in April.  Copper was under-weight and dirty from when the shelter workers last saw him.

Leaders at the SPCA said they worked with Seminole County to get in touch with the adoptive couple to get to the bottom of the situation.  

Brevard SPCA PR Coordinator Susan Naylor said they eventually found out that the couple had dumped Copper in the park and also left Star on a Seminole County property. Naylor said because the adopters called animal control telling them Copper was in the park and because Star technically wandered away from a property, the couple avoided any potential charges.

"It's extremely disheartening, and it really upsets us,” said Naylor.

The main concern shifted to Star, as the dog was still missing.   The Brevard SPCA put out several posts on social media, informing the public of their search. The hashtag #BringStarHome spread over the next several days, with more than 200,000 views by Thursday.

Several commented that they spotted Star in a neighborhoods along the Winter Springs and Casselberry border, so dozens of volunteers searched the area on Thursday.

While FOX 35 cameras were rolling on the search, Star showed up running out of one wooded area and into another.  Employees from the SPCA arrived on scene, and for the next hour or so, the search team swept the woods until one of the volunteers shouted that they had Star.

The bulldog-mix quickly hopped on the Brevard SPCA workers in a tear-filled reunion. An hour later, she was back in Titusville with Copper. A video of the dogs’ reuniting on Facebook showed a playful happy moment for the two who have been through a tough few weeks.

A parent of one of the now-former adopters was on hand helping with the search Thursday and apologized to volunteers for the mess. SPCA leaders said they were grateful.

SPCA workers said they’ve already gotten adoption requests for the dogs. They plan to keep them at the office for now to give them some time to recuperate before finding them a new, hopefully this time, forever home.