Family Does the Right Thing: Returns Missing Therapy Dog to Autistic Boy

A therapy dog was just reunited with a very special boy.

Eight-year-old Zach Carlisle had been missing his dog Delilah, a 6-year-old weimaraner for the past eight months. Not only did the pup serve as a companion for Zach, but he was also his therapy dog. The boy suffers from autism, social anxiety and has seizures and would rely on Delilah to alert others when a seizure was coming on, comfort him and help him communicate.

But back in August, this bond was broken when Delilah escaped the family’s apartment in Brandon, Fla. and was discovered in Tampa. The dog was taken in by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay on Aug. 11.

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During this same time, Zach and his family searched all over for Delilah, putting up flyers, visiting their local shelter and posting on Facebook. Weeks later, Michele saw what she believed to be her dog on the Humane Society’s website. But it was too late. Delilah had been adopted out. (According to the Humane Society, Delilah was placed with a new family on Aug. 15.  They say Carlisle did not call them until November.)

A tough decision had to be made. The new family was very attached to their dog and did not want to give her back. And they were within their rights to keep her. By law, in the county, a dog without any identification (the Humane Society said Delilah did not have tags, nor was she microchipped) the animal becomes the property of the county. But a boy with special needs was starting to withdraw. Michele told the outlet that Zach used to share his feelings with Delilah but would refuse to do so with people.

In the end, the family decided to return Delilah to Zach, and the special bond they once shared was again on display this past Thursday.

“Is it her?” Zach in a video posted on 10 News. “It is!  Oh, my God. Best day ever!”

Delilah showed her love by sniffing the dog and kissing his face.

This would have never happened without the new family and Michele is grateful for their unselfish act.

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“I want to thank them and I really do appreciate them doing the right thing and coming forward and bringing her back, so that we could be reunited because that was huge,” she told the outlet.

The family not only gave the Carlisles back their dog but also their boy.

“I’ve already seen him coming out and expressing himself again and being verbal and he started talking and he was talking to her the whole way home and I was like, ‘Oh my God!  He’s back.  Zach’s back!’” said Michele.

While many people have offered to give the other family a new dog, they are taking time to heal. When they are ready, they will most likely adopt another dog from The Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

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H/T and images WTSP

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