Nick Havens spent nearly two weeks hoping that his dog, Dexter, would show up. After 12 days of exhaustive searching, Havens was starting to lose hope.
Then his phone rang.
He couldn’t believe what he heard on the other line. Havens, who lives in Endwell, New York, was surprised to hear the SPCA in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania had Dexter at their facility.
“I was at work and I got a phone call from a Pennsylvania area code,” Havens said to WICZ. “They asked me, ‘are you missing a dog?’ and I said, ‘yes I am,” and they said ‘we have your dog.’”
He hoped they were right, but he had his doubts. Spurred by the hope of getting his beloved companion back, Havens left work immediately and made the 70-mile trek to the animal shelter.
The trip was nearly two hours long, and Havens went through a range of emotions during the trek. When he finally arrived at the facility and got a look at the dog, there was no doubt it was his missing buddy.
“We didn’t believe it until we had him in our arms, but yeah, it was pretty overwhelming,” Havens said.
The SPCA said they found Dexter tied to a gas station in a nearby town. Dexter spent the next four days in the shelter before they were able to track Havens down using Dexter’s microchip.
“He was pretty scared when we picked him up. He was quivering. His tail was down between his legs. You know, once he saw us, his tail finally started wagging,” Havens said.
“They said that was the first time they’ve seen him wag since they picked him up,” said Havens.
Havens suspects foul play in his dog’s disappearance but does his best not to think about it too much. He prefers to focus on the fact that Dexter is home safely.
“I can only speculate. I’m not sure if we really want to know his story,” Havens said.
“It’s quite a drive so I’d like to think that somebody had a change of heart and just tied him up and assumed somebody would call animal control, which I’m glad somebody did.”
“If not for his microchip, I don’t think we’d ever see him again,” said Havens.
Welcome home, Dexter
Since the day of his disappearance, Havens used social media to help spread the word his pooch was missing. And while those efforts didn’t directly influence Dexter’s return, the relieved dog dad said the community’s response was amazing.
“I can’t thank the community enough, friends and family. I mean my family has spent countless hours hanging flyers and our friends too and it’s just, we couldn’t have done it without everybody else,” Havens said.
“We wouldn’t be able to mentally deal with it without everybody, so we are super grateful for all that.”
To express his gratitude, Havens is throwing a “Welcome Home Dexter Meet and Greet,” for everyone who put forth an effort to bring him home.