Karla Rendon-Alvarez

Dog Missing for Year After Gas Explosions Reunited With Owner: Report

Virgo, a 14-year-old Pekingese-Shih Tzu mix, was missing for more than a year following the deadly Merrimack Valley gas explosions

It was a tail-wagging and heartfelt reunion Tuesday for a North Andover woman and her pet dog, who was reportedly missing for more than a year following the devastating Merrimack Valley gas explosions.

The Salem News reports that Altagracia Baldera was forced out of her home Sept. 13, 2018 due to the disaster. Seeking shelter, she and her dog Virgo went to Baldera’s sister’s home in Lawrence. Virgo, a 14-year-old Pekingese-Shih Tzu mix, dashed through the door and fled the area when Baldera’s brother-in-law went to get coffee.

Virgo disappeared for about a year before a group of boys reportedly found him on Newbury Street, according to the Salem News. An animal control officer picked up the animal and searched for its microchip, but the contact number associated with it was outdated.

With a little bit of digging around, the animal control officer reportedly contacted MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen and was able to contact Baldera.

Baldera and Virgo were finally reunited after more than a year apart, the paper said. 

Photos of the happy reunion show Baldera holding her wayward pet and embracing Virgo.

"This is such a happy story. To see someone's emotions when they get their dog back," Ellen Bistany, the animal control officer who helped with the reunion, told the Salem News.

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