NORTH ANSON, Maine (WJZ)—A Maryland family believes nothing short of a miracle saved their dog from certain death in the frigid Maine wilderness.
Mary Bubala has his survival story.
Against the odds and more than a week after the dog ran away, he's been reunited with his overjoyed family.
Dempsey survived nine days without food in the bitter cold.
He just went through surgery.
Jamie Cyrway from Severn was able to get the reunion she was hoping for.
"Oh my goodness, I'm just so thankful. Just so, so thankful," Cyrway said.
Thirteen days ago, Cyrway's dog Dempsey jumped a six-foot fence at her parent's house in Maine.
The family searched for days, offering a reward, putting up signs around the neighborhood and on Facebook.
"We went out on snow shoes," said Janet Boothby, Cyrway's mother. "We went out at night. We took my dog on trails. Jamie and I went through the woods. We had scent stations set up."
Cyrway, a single parent of three, had to go back to Maryland for work, but the search didn't stop there.
Someone reported hitting a dog with their car just a mile or so from Christine Pierce's house. Without even knowing Dempsey or his family, she bundled up the kids to go search.
"I followed the tracks that came down this way, and they went right into the building," Pierce said.
Just minutes later, she found Dempsey.
"He looked horrible. He was skinny," Pierce said. "He wasn't moving and when I saw him, I said, 'Dempsey, I found you! I can't believe I found you!'"
His leg was broken and his heart was barely beating.
But he was alive.
"It's really a miracle," said Dr. Darren Richards, Madison Animal Hospital. "Nine days in the subzero temperatures that we had, and he's not a very big dog, so he's lucky. I think when she found him, he was probably within an hour or two of dying."
Dempsey is being nursed back to health by Cyrway's mom until she can get back to Maine.
Jamie Cyrway drove back up to Maine last weekend. They hope to bring Dempsey home as soon as he can travel after surgery.
The family says they are so grateful for all the people who helped search for their dog. People even donated money to help pay for his surgery.
Pierce will receive a small reward for finding Dempsey.
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