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Local Dog Returns Home

Jennifer Janiga was starting to lose hope that she'd ever see her dog again when she got a surprising call...

Janiga's dog, had been missing for 73 days, wandering the woods of Traverse City after getting separated from it's owners back in March.

 Her owners had tried everything to find her. "I went down every road, I walked through woods, I walked everywhere — I was frantic," Janiga said.

Last week Jennifer got a surprise call from a local vet saying that her beloved dog was safe and sound.

Hazel, one of the Janigas' four family dogs, went missing south of Traverse City on March 25. She was found in Empire, Michigan, in June, more than 30 miles from the Janigas' home.

Janiga’s March Facebook post asking for help finding Hazel received more than 3,000 shares, but it was the dog’s microchip that ultimately brought the pup back to her family.

At Hazel's June 7 homecoming, she was 37 pounds lighter than she had been in March. Her body was full of ticks, skunk spray and bite marks, evidence of her struggles surviving through a chilly spring.

Janiga is now counseling other dog owners to microchip their pets.

But she also credits the community — the Facebook shares and friends who didn't stop searching.

"It really takes a village to find somebody — I think that's what did it," Janiga said.