Missing Naples dog found in New Hampshire

NAPLES, Fla. (WSVN) — A Florida dog is coming back home after accidentally going on a mysterious cross-country journey.

Cooper is a house pet turned traveler after he showed up along a busy street in New Hampshire a week ago.

Two women took him to police, assuming he was a lost local dog. “He’s in good condition, and they thought someone may give a call in a short period,” said Animal Control Officer Corie Bliss.

When no one called, Cooper was taken to an animal rescue shelter. “I took him out and scanned him for a microchip,” said Bliss, “and that’s when it all unfolded.”

“Somebody called me and said he was in New Hampshire,” said Julie Shields, Cooper’s owner. “I said, ‘You know I’m in Florida, right?’ ‘Yeah, we know everything about you. We found this microchip on your dog.'”

While it remains a mystery how Cooper ended up so far away, much of the dog’s life has also been a mystery. Cooper showed up on Shields’ doorstep in Naples, Florida, a year and a half ago. “I advertised him wherever I could think of,” said Shields, “signs, Craigslist, that kind of stuff. Nobody ever claimed him.”

She decided to keep him and got him a microchip, a move that paid off when he left in May.

While no one is sure how Cooper got to New Hampshire, Shields said it’s unlikely he walked. “So there’s a good chance that someone liked the dog and found a new home with him,” said Shields.

A national charity called Kindred Hearts Transport will take Cooper home, and his temporary caregiver said she will miss him. “I enjoy my time with him,” said Bliss. “It’s very rewarding, and I can’t wait to see the pictures when he’s reunited with his owners.”

Before the pup gets all the way back to Florida at the end of the week, his owner plans to send him a care package with new harnesses and new collars.