A woman who lost her dog in a serious Missouri traffic accident while she was moving from Alabama to New Jersey has been reunited with her beloved pet, thanks to the kindness of strangers.
Mary Ellen Frazier's ordeal began Sept. 9 while she was driving on Interstate 70 near St. Louis. She began feeling sick and swerved on the road, hitting the back of a truck and veering off the highway. Her Honda CRV overturned five times in the crash, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Frazier spent several days in a hospital, then stayed in a hotel. Her biggest concern, though, was the loss of her 6-year-old golden retriever, Bailey, who ran off after the wreck.
"People who don't have a pet might not understand, but Bailey is my baby," she said. "I love him dearly, and he loves me."
Cindy Kielty, a St. Charles woman, was headed to the gym last Friday when she happened upon Frazier. Frazier had been walking to a sandwich shop but felt weak and stopped in a parking lot under a tree.
Kielty stopped to check on her.
"She was so lost and needed help; and I think she was more worried about her dog than she was about herself," she said.
Kielty drove Frazier back to her hotel and went to a store to get her some medicine. She then told her husband, Ken, a former St. Charles City Council member, about the missing dog. He contacted St. Peters Mayor Len Pagano since the wreck occurred there.
"The mayor basically put out an APB on that dog," Ken Kielty said.
Pagano said that the city's animal control division and police department had already been scouring the area for the dog.
"All we did was be a good neighbor, and put out a good welcome mat for the city of St. Peters," he said.
Frazier's friends picked her up Saturday to take her to New Jersey — without Bailey.
But on Monday, she finally got the news she had been praying for — St. Peters animal control had recovered the dog after he was spotted near the accident scene. He was in good shape except for abrasions on the pads of his paws.
"He apparently had been running up and down the highway (looking for Frazier)," animal control officer Carol Schulte said.
Ken Kielty drove to the animal shelter, took a picture of Bailey and sent it to Frazier.
"I was able to see my boy, and I just cried and cried and cried," Frazier said.
Frazier's son drove from Alabama on Wednesday to pick up Bailey.
"I'm overwhelmed that people would go to these lengths for me, a stranger, and my dog," Frazier said.