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17 months and 400 miles later, dog reunited with family

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Posted at 12:00 PM, Mar 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-26 14:00:47-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A Kentucky couple are about to be reunited with their beloved beagle Sassy after she went missing during a move nearly a year and a half ago.

When they found out where their dog was located, they said they couldn't believe it.

"We are just elated. We're absolutely elated," said Cindy Romans, Sassy's owner.

Cindy and Ernie Romans hadn’t seen their dog Sassy for 17 months. They thought she had been hit, killed by coyotes, or even taken by a hunter.

"We'd pretty much given her up," Ernie Romans said.

In the midst of a move from 42 acres in the country to the city, the Romans had Sassy and their other dogs stay with family. Sassy was let out one night and never returned.

"Didn't know, we kept on waiting for her to come home because she always came home. Always -- except for this time," Cindy Romans said.

In 17 months, Sassy traveled three states.

From Louisville, Sassy had been picked up and taken to a shelter in Boyd County, Ky.
She was injured, possibly hit by a car, but before the shelter euthanized her, they called the Forever Home Beagle Rescue and members agreed to take her to West Virginia.

From there, Sassy healed and got a foster family in Pittsburgh.

"It's been a long 17 months for her. I'm sure to be away from her family,” said April Smith, Sassy’s foster mom.

For two months, Hope Wilson and Smith fostered Sassy. When Sassy got a cough, the vet checked her out and discovered a microchip.

"I'm thinking, 'Are you serious?' I was in total disbelief. And they said, 'Yeah, she is and her name is Sassy.' And as soon as they said Sassy, her head turned and I said are you Sassy? And her tail started wagging right away," Smith said.

With the information on the chip, the Romans were notified.

"Pittsburgh? Really? How does that happen?," Ernie Romans said.

The Romans will be in Pittsburgh Friday to be reunited with Sassy.

"Everyone has been such an angel with her and I will never, ever, ever, ever be able to thank them enough for the wonderful care they've given her," Cindy Romans said.