More than three months after an emotional support dog for a 4-year-old boy disappeared from his family’s Montgomery County, Maryland, neighborhood, police said the two best friends have now been reunited.
Macks, a French bulldog-beagle mix, went missing from the family’s Potomac home on May 13, and police said they believed the pup might have been picked up by a landscaping crew working in the neighborhood.
The family’s search for the missing Macks included neighborhood flyers, local news segments and even a $1,000 reward. Eventually, the family even filed a police report.
Sandrine Hildembrand told NBC Washington that Macks helped calm her son’s anxiety. Her son, Mathis, has Coffin-Lowry syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.
Still, the family’s searching was in vain.
“After searching far and wide, the family of Macks had almost given up hope that they would ever be reunited,” police said in a Tuesday news release announcing the reunion. “Though media outlets publicized the family’s plight and a reward was offered, the silence was deafening.”
Then, last week, police said the family was contacted by someone who claimed to have found Macks and wanted to collect the reward being offered by the family.
Montgomery County police stepped in to facilitate the meeting — and a potential reunion.
“Ensuring additional heartbreak did not occur to this young boy weighed heavy on the officers,” police said.
Montgomery County police spokesman Capt. Tom Jordan told WTOP that officers took their duty personally. They wanted to make sure the tipster was legitimate and not out to cause any more grief to the family.
The reunion took place later that evening.
Police said the person who found Macks wanted to remain anonymous.
As for what made the tipster come forward now, Jordan said: “I’d like to believe it was out of their goodness of their heart, but it may have been the reward money. We look at the end result, and the end result was reuniting that dog and that kid.”
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