Missing Arizona dog found thousands of miles away in Pennsylvania

BLACK CANYON CITY, AZ - A Black Canyon City man waits patiently as details are ironed out for the return of his beloved pet after it went on a cross country adventure earlier this year.

Jim Chryst loves taking his dogs on adventures around the creek near Black Canyon City, but then his car broke down and he and his pets found themselves stranded.

"About the second day they were sitting outside my window barking continuously at their walk time," said Chryst who finally gave in and took his dogs for a walk up the hill near his home.

When they reached the top, Chryst's beloved shorthaired pointer named "Heidi" took off after a rabbit.

At first, Chryst didn't worry.  

"It's not unusual for her to take off after animals and be gone for 30 minutes," he said.

But Heidi never returned. That was in March of this year.

For the next five months, Jim continued to return to his and Heidi's favorite spots hoping she would be there.

"German shorthaired pointers are known to return to the spot they were released,"  said Chryst , who was desperate to find Heidi.

"I don't want to sound overly religious, but I  got down on my knees and said 'Lord please bring Heidi home, I know you can do this.'"

Jim's prayers were answered last week, when a rescue group called him to say Heidi had been found thousands of miles away, in Pennsylvania.

"A geologist working near I-17 found her along interstate 17," said Joyce Harrison with the German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue of Pennsylvania.

Harrison told ABC15 the woman who found Heidi flew her home to Pennsylvania when the project she was working on was over.

"She has five cats and Heidi didn't take too well to the cats," said Harrison who took Heidi in after the woman who found her dropped her off at the rescue shelter.

That didn't surprise Chryst who said Heidi's been known to go after cats before.

It was a chip implanted in Heidi that led the GSP rescue back to Chryst in Arizona.

"I just happened to have a scanner and started scanning Heidi's body when I found the chip," Harrison said.

Soon Chryst was called and told Heidi had been found.

"I was happy, then it hit me and I got a little emotional," he said.

Harrison said after talking to Chryst, she knew she needed to get Heidi home.

The rescue is now working with Pilots and Paws, an animal rescue group that flies pets home to get Heidi back to Arizona.

The rescue will take five flight legs and will need five volunteer pilots.

So far only three have come forward, including Sgt. Bill Rademacher with Avondale Police.

Rademacher is hoping to fly Heidi over the last leg from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Goodyear, Arizona.

Chryst is happy for all the help, and is hoping to soon be reunited with his beloved Heidi,

"At least I know where she's at now and I know she's being taken care of," he said.

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