National Guard sergeant melts hearts reuniting with beloved dog after month apart
A freak accident separated a dog from his mom. It took the loving hearts of local residents to reunite them once again.
Jaclyn Abergas

The worst thing that could happen to a fur mom happened to Indiana National Guard Sergeant Jillian Sandefur one June day.

She and her beloved dog, Murphy, were separated after an accident caused him to run off.

Sgt. Jillian Sandefur was driving down Route 35 in West Virginia when she lost control of her car and it rolled over. Murphy was spooked and ran off towards the northbound side of Route 35.

Unfortunately, Murphy’s dog tags came off so it was going to be extra challenging to find him.

Plus Sgt. Sandefur had to go back to Indiana the next day for work at the Indiana National Guard. And she had to rely on the kindness of the locals to help her find Murphy.

She still held hope that they’ll be reunited before she gets deployed with her unit in September.

“I’m so sorry Murphy. I hope that you’re safe. I hope that we’ll still be able to find you. Mommy loves you,” Sgt. Sandefur wrote on her Facebook post.

Local residents Misty Burdette and Becky Randolph helped the National Guard Sgt. find her furbaby by coming back to the crash site regularly.

They checked pawprints at the site if they matched Murphy’s. And they always smoothened the pawprints they found to make it easy for them to identify the pawprints they haven’t checked yet.

Pexels - Engin Akyurt
Pexels - Engin Akyurt

Doing this will help them determine the freshness of the pawprint.

Mason County Animal Shelter also helped with the search by lending them an extra-large trap to fit Murphy. They filled the trap with Sgt. Sandefur’s and Murphy’s things that Misty took from the wrecked car.

Sgt. Sandefur also mailed some of her clothes to them that they could use for the search.

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But Murphy’s a smart dog.

He was able to make his way back to the crash site but he wouldn’t go into the trap. Instead, he snuck through a waterway structure that the rescuers could not reach.

But both the rescuers and Murphy would not give up.

The rescuers installed a trail camera so they’re alerted when Murphy finally went into the trap. And finally, one month and 2 days later, Murphy went into the trap.

Facebook - WOWK 13 NEWS
Facebook - WOWK 13 NEWS

Another rescuer, Jason Jeffers, picked him up, and they informed Sgt. Sandefur of the good news.

Becky and her partner, Tera, agreed to hold on to Murphy until he was reunited with Sgt. Sandefur. Well, it turned out Tera’s aunt lived 30 minutes away from Sgt. Sandefur’s location, and it became a double reunion!

So the next day, Tara, their son Brayden, and a few other rescuers boarded Murphy in their car and made the overnight trip to Indiana. They arrived on Saturday morning and reunited Murphy with his mom.

Facebook - WOWK 13 NEWS
Facebook - WOWK 13 NEWS

Sgt. Sandefur was so ecstatic to be reunited with her furbaby.

She wanted to give Becky and Tera a reward, but they refused and said this was an act of kindness that needed no reward. Sgt. Sandefur wrote them a heartfelt note instead to express her gratitude to the couple and the rescuers.

“To: My Heroes,” Sgt. Sandefur wrote. “It’s not everyday that you encounter people who are exceptionally selfless to others, such as yourself. My fur baby family and I couldn’t be more grateful. Please accept this card and photos as a token of our appreciation for everything you have done to bring Murphy home.”

Watch the wonderful dog and mom reunion in the video below.

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By Jaclyn Abergas
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.