According to a press release from the Humane Society of Summit County, Julia Nemeth of Barberton, Ohio, had raised Junior from a puppy and trained him to be both her companion and a protector. The two were inseparable until Junior, a Pit Bull Terrier mix, was taken from her home in 2012 during a home invasion.
Over the years, Nemeth scoured local shelter photos and lost-and-found pet groups online. She thought she found him on Craigslist listed for sale, but the poster did not respond to her email. While she checked the Humane Society of Summit County website, her searches never matched up with his time at the shelter.
Junior was known as “Buddy” during his on-and-off stay at HSSC. He originally arrived at the shelter in July 2018 after being surrendered to Humane Officers. He was in fair health upon his arrival and was treated by a shelter veterinarian for tapeworms before he was made available for adoption.
He was adopted three times over the years, but none were the right fit. HSSC is a no time-limit shelter and provides support for adopters following adoption to manage behavioral issues, but does accept pets back to the shelter for any reason.
Nemeth found Junior’s picture on the HSSC website in mid-December and immdiately wenet to the shelter, hoping to reunite with her long lost pet.
During the initial meeting, Nemeeth tried some hand signal commands she had taught Junior years ago and he obeyed them perfectly.
Nemeth, is married and the mother of four. Junior, who is now 9 years old, is reportedly settling back in well, and likes to snuggle on the couch on the laps of his family members. He also still loves chew toys and balls, and plays catch with Julia’s son in their backyard.
“I keep asking my husband to pinch me because I can’t believe this is real,” said Nemeth in the press release. “I can’t believe Junior is home. He carried me through challenges of my life and to have him back means everything to me.”
The HSSC notes that the best way to ensure your pet finds their way home if they get lost is by wearing a collar and ID tag with contact information as well as having your pet microchipped and ensuring the contact information on your microchip is up to date.