Woman Goes To PA Shelter To Adopt Pet, Finds Dog She Lost 2 Years Ago

By Jason Hall

June 30, 2021

Portrait Of Dog Sitting On Grass
Photo: Getty Images

A Pennsylvania woman looking to adopt a new dog was reunited with the same beloved pet she lost more than two years ago.

Aisha Nieves, who previously lived in Allentown and has since moved to Schuykill County, told the Morning Call she was searching the Lehigh County Humane Society's (LCHS) adoption webpage for a new dog for her two sons when she noticed a tan pit bull-Rottweiler mix up for adoption.

"I thought, 'Wait, that can't be him,'" Nieves said. "Then, I saw the little scar over one eye, the scar from when he got caught in a gate, and I was like, 'Oh my God, that's my baby, that's Kovu!'"

Nieves initially adopted Kovu, listed on the website as "Ash," when he was just seven weeks old and had him until he went missing in May 2019.

LCHS reports the canine was found in bad health upon arrival at the humane society.

"He needed to be treated for fleas, was missing hair on his hind end and had inflammation," LCHS director of development Deirdre Snyder told the Morning Call. "He was treated with antibiotics and bathed with a special medical shampoo. He was in our shelter for about four months and then adopted out to a family Oct. 25, 2019."

However, the family who adopted Kovu was facing eviction and he was returned to the shelter.

Nieves said she immediately called the shelter to verify she was Kovu's original owner in order to reunite with the dog.

"He was screaming, trying to get away from the guy holding him and run to me. Then, he just jumped on me, and we started kissing and hugging," Nieves said. "He sat on my lap. I told him, 'Yeah, buddy, you're going home. I'm so sorry this happened. Never again am I losing you.'"

"Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and that is likely the first thing that brings the recognition," Snyder added, noting that it's common for dogs to remember their owner even after a long absence. "There are many videos online of military personnel coming home after a long time away and their dog will recognize them with a similar joy and excitement that Kovu had for Aisha."

Nieves brought Kovu back home after the emotional reunion and said she is excited to celebrating his seventh birthday with him this winter.

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