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Long-Lost Westport Pooch Reunited With Owners

WESTPORT, Conn. – Not all tales of missing pets end happily ever after. But thanks to the Westport Animal Shelter Advocates , one Westport family has been reunited with a four-legged friend who had been missing for more than a year.

Bandit the dog, a female Cavapoo, went missing from her home in June 2010, said Eve Catarevas, vice president of the nonprofit, better known as WASA. As many pet owners do when a pet goes missing, Bandit's family placed posters around town and offered a $500 reward for her return. Hearing nothing, they raised the reward to $1,500.

Despite the increased award, no one ever called. Fast forward to Oct. 7, 2011. WASA President Julie Loparo and her daughter Callie, a senior at Staples High School, were driving along Riverside Avenue when they spotted a small dog wandering on the road. They pulled over, retrieved the dog and took her to Westport Animal Control, Catarevas said.

From there, WASA volunteer Amy Scarella scheduled the dog for a much-needed grooming session. After the dog received some TLC from the groomer, Scarella took a photo of the dog and showed it to a friend, who identified her as Bandit. Shortly thereafter, Bandit was returned to the loving arms of her owner.

WASA did not request a reward for finding Bandit.

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