New York dog found in Florida af­ter 18 months

Star-Telegram (Sunday) - - News -

Eigh­teen months af­ter Si­na­tra the brown and white Husky dis­ap­peared from his home in New York, he ended up wan­der­ing in a Florida neigh­bor­hood where 13-year-old Rose Ver­rill took him in.

Turns out, Si­na­tra once be­longed to 16-year-old Zion Wil­lis, who died in a gun ac­ci­dent in Brook­lyn, New York, in 2015. He’ll be re­united with her fam­ily in Bal­ti­more on Sun­day.

The Tampa Bay Times re­ports that while the dog has been found, no one knows how it trav­eled 1,200 miles from New York to Seffner, which is near Tampa.

But this much is known. Si­na­tra was a 14th birth­day gift for Zion, who was an avid dancer and an an­i­mal lover. The blue-eyed dog loved to chase rac­coons and squir­rels, the teen’s fa­ther told the news­pa­per. One day, a year-and-a-half af­ter Zion’s death, the dog never came home. It was a tragic loss for Zion’s griev­ing par­ents.

About 18 months passed be­fore the Florida teen found Si­na­tra near her home.

“He’s been such a won­der­ful guest and such a sweet dog,” said Rose’s mother, Denise Ver­ril. “I can see why they love him so much.”

The Ver­ills and fam­ily friend Jeanne Baldi started try­ing to find Si­na­tra’s own­ers. They took him to a vet­eri­nar­ian who was not able to re­trieve much from an iden­ti­fi­ca­tion chip. They turned to the Hills­bor­ough County Pet Re­source Cen­ter, which came up with a pos­si­ble name – Wil­lis Les – and a phone num­ber that was off by one digit.

That’s when Baldi took to so­cial me­dia. She reached out to Les­more Wil­lis with the in­forma- tion she had.

“I never would have thought he was from Brook­lyn,” Baldi said. “I mes­saged Les­more over Face­book and didn’t think it would lead to any­thing when I saw where he was from.”

A few days later, Wil­lis mes­saged back. As they com­pared notes, they both spoke of a dog that had a prob­lem with its right foot.

Baldi sent along a photo and Wil­lis con­firmed it was Si­na­tra.

BRONTE WITTPENN Tampa Bay Times

Si­na­tra, a brown and white Husky, sits at the feet of Gre­gory Ver­rill in Seffner, Florida.

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