An Atlanta dog, George, was reunited with his owners after being missing for nearly one and a half years. 
Photo: Julianne Green/Special
Photo: Julianne Green/Special

Atlanta couple finds dog lost on Christmas Day a year and a half later

George, a black shepherd-lab mix with a white chest and brindle paws, slipped his leash and took off during a walk with a dog sitter on Christmas 2015.

Owners Julianne Green and Matt Furniss got the call while visiting New York for the holidays. Devastated, they cut their trip short so they could begin searching. 

Nearly 17 months later, they can finally stop. 

A microchip company called the couple last week: George had been picked up in Oakland City — about six miles from their Reynoldstown neighborhood — and was scanned in at Fulton County Animal Services. 

They raced to the shelter. Green was expecting George to be sick, injured or aggressive. But then they saw him.

“He came right up to us and was so lovey and happy,” she said Tuesday. “And it was like he wasn’t gone for one and a half years.”

MORE: How can you help save the whale shark? Drink this new local beer. 

Green and Furniss were thrilled, but so were hundreds of others. 

George had gained a following since the couple posted about his disappearance on Nextdoor back in December 2015. Many missing animal posts are on the online forum, but George was a special case. Neighbors helped put up flyers, checked in and posted any time there was a suspected sighting. 

Eventually, the sightings slowed. A naysayer on Nextdoor said the dog couldn’t have survived the winter and advised people to stop posting about him. The couple donated George’s belongings, but remained hopeful. 

Green thinks people became invested in George’s story because he went missing on Christmas and because he kept darting between neighborhoods. Despite the occasional sightings, the then-two-year-old dog was skittish and didn’t recognize his name being called. 

The couple — who adopted George from the Humane Society in Atlanta after a bad flood hit South Carolina — had only owned him for two months.

When Green shared the news that George had been found to Nextdoor, the post got more than 230 “thanks” and more than 100 comments in less than a week.

Owners Julianne Green and Matt Furniss adopted George in October 2015.
Photo: (submitted)

MORE: This rare chick born at Zoo Atlanta looks scary now, but just you wait

Since his return, the couple has since found out their dog is heart worm positive, and have started a GoFundMe to raise money for George’s treatment. 

“He has become a local celebrity,” the fundraising page says. “Chances are when we meet a new neighbor, they have already heard a piece of his journey.”  

The couple said they’re “eternally grateful” for the neighborhood’s support.

Any extra funds from the campaign will be donated to Fulton County Animal Services in George’s name.

Like Atlanta News Now on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter 

RELATED VIDEO:

Stolen dog found in Gastonia reunited with owner 7 years later

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.

With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.

Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.

X