Sweet Abby Returns Home After Missing for 10 Years

Presumed dead, Abby is reunited with her family a decade later

By Catalina Barrios

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Credit: Trib Live

In 2008, Debra Suierveld’s children were playing outside with their one-year old black lab mix, Abby, when she ran off. It was a sad day for the family as Abby never returned. Devastated, they searched endlessly for her, with no luck.  The vet, who had micro-chipped Abby, listed the dog as deceased.


Credit: Instagram / @animalprotectorsshelter

Recently, Debra received a call she will never forget, from an employee at Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. The caller informed Debra that they had found her “dog”. Debra assumed it was a mistake because both of her dogs were right there with her.


Credit: Trib Live

She was stunned when the animal shelter told her the dog they found was named Abby. Abby had been missing for almost ten years! The shelter was able to track down Debra thanks to Abby’s microchip. The shelter workers called the first phone number associated with the microchip but it was disconnected. Then they contacted the dog’s original vet who said the dog was listed as deceased. After knowing the black lab was in good hands, the veterinarian provided the shelter with Debra’s phone number.


Abby was found only 10 miles away from the Suirveld’s home by George Speiring. George opened the door to his home and found Abby sitting on his porch. He contacted the animal shelter who began the process of locating Debra, using Abby’s microchip. shutterstock_172244717

Debra said Carly, her 22-year old daughter who has 12 when Abby disappeared, broke into tears when she heard the news. Abby is in great health for her age, so shelter workers think someone must have been taking care of her. Debra’s kids were thrilled to learn Abby still recognized her name.


Credit: Trib Live

Debra says Abby still keeps some of the habits she had before going missing. She continues to cross her paws and drink out of the toilet. Gail Snyder, Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley’s manager, said Abby’s reunion likely would have never happened if she wasn’t microchipped.

We thought she had passed away. It feels like a part of my kids’ childhood is back, part of our family is back. It’s pretty awesome,” said Debra.

Welcome Home, Abby!