family reunited with service dog

LEE’S SUMMIT, MO (KCTV) -- It was an emotional reunion for a family whose dog had been missing for 73 days.

It took a full team of KC Animal Control officers to get her to safety from where she was stranded. Then, Kara’s human family was reunited with her at KC Pet Project the same day she was found.

She’s an autism support dog for one of the children.

They had posted flyers all around town and on social media when she went missing.

“It took two officers to capture the dog and it took five of us to get her to safety,” said Chris Harriman, an animal control officer. “There was a rock wall that was about 10 feet tall.”

That rescue, after 2.5 months with several spells of bitter cold, happened at the lagoon in Swope Park. It’s hardly close to where her family lives in the Lee’s Summit area.

Mapping from the center of Lee’s Summit to the park shows a distance of 13 miles, which is clocked as a 4.5-hour walk for a human.

The officers found her Wednesday pacing on the bank of a lake surrounded on three sides by icy water.

Someone called 311, but the police couldn’t come so Animal Control assisted and used a ladder to get to the skittish dog.

They found a nest, suggesting she had been there for several days -- if not longer. And, though she was scared at first, they said she warmed up to them quickly.

“As soon as we had a leash on her, she went from this fear of people to remembering that people are safe,” Harriman said. “She trusted me and we were able to handle her like any other dog, which was fortunate because we had to put her in a kennel and rope the kennel up the rock wall to get her to safety.”

She still had her tags, which made for a quick reunion.

The once 80-pound dog was down to 60 pounds. She also needed treatment for worms and a minor ear infection. However, she is otherwise healthy and clearly well-loved.

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