Dog lost during JJ's fire reunited with owner

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Perceus, the yellow lab that went missing shortly after the JJ's explosion Feb. 19, has been reunited with his owners.

The search began around 9:30 Saturday morning when Theodore Charles, who lives near 36th Street and Garfield Avenue, spotted a dog matching Perceus' description.

"We remember seeing it on TV, and so I said, well I'd better call these people and see if this is the dog," Charles said.

Soon after Charles made that phone call, posts started to pop up on the "Bring Perceus Home" Facebook page about the sighting. Stacy Reeves, founder of PetEx Rescue and Transport, had been following the story for the past couple weeks.

"I was seeing my friends post that they were actively following Percy," Reeves said.

So Reeves and her boyfriend, Robbie Jupina, rushed to the neighborhood where "Percy" was last seen.

"We got to 36th and Wabash and that was where we saw him bolt across the street, so I went bolting after him," Jupina said.

Reeves and Jupina, along with other volunteers, helped to corner and held Perceus until his owner, Dr. John Verstraete, could be reunited with his dog.

"The second that Doctor Verstraete showed up, his whole demeanor, his body, everything changed, and he started whining in happiness," Reeves said of the dog.

After the reunion, the owners had Perceus checked out at the vet and were told he was fine, except for a couple of scrapes. The dog's condition surprised his rescuers.

"For a dog to live through two snowstorms and to avoid being hit by any vehicles, it's amazing," Jupina said.

Although the web played a part in tracking Perceus down, it all began with an old-fashioned phone call.

"To know that I did at least help this guy get his dog, man, it was a pretty good feeling," Charles said.

Dr. Verstraete posted on Facebook Saturday night that he would give the $1,500 reward to Charles, and that "he will accept the reward whether he wants to or not. :)"

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