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Harrisonburg teen finds couple’s missing dog

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 5:38 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -

A Harrisonburg couple recently got the chance to thank 13-year-old Tyion Hepner after he found their dog. Amy Cerelli and her boyfriend’s dog Jersey, escaped while they were cleaning out their garage.

“We noticed a little while later that he was not in the house and he has a hard time getting around so we imagined he was in his bed. Then panic set in,” said Cerelli.

That is when the couple started their search.

“We went out canvassing the neighborhood. We were out until about 3 in the morning with flashlights and we were squeaking his ball looking for him,” said Cerelli.

The couple called multiple law enforcement agencies to get the word out. Then the community stepped in.

“We had neighbors joining the search. We own a store in town and people were meeting us and taking flyers to put on mail boxes,” said Cerelli.

Cerelli says one neighbor even went to church to pray for the dog’s return. Those prayers, later turned into a miraculous moment when Tyion found their lost pup while he was playing outside with his friends.

“I followed Jersey all the way and I noticed he was with nobody and he started following me,” said Tyion Hepner.

Tyion took the dog home and convinced his mom to let him take care of him.

“She didn’t want him there, but then I just tried to beg her that we need to help him,” said Hepner.

Two days later, Amy’s boyfriend was out again searching for Jersey. Tyion was playing around the corner, overheard him describing the dog to an officer, and instantly knew he had their dog.

“My friend and I and my father were up the hill and my Dad was honking the horn cause my friend and I were off into the woods and we ran back and he said ‘They found Jersey, go back to the house.’ and so Matt sent me a picture of him and jersey and the story was sort of amazing.”

The couple says they are so thankful for Tyion and the whole community for their support.

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