‘Holiday Miracle,’ Pit Bull Returns 1 Year After Going Missing In Chicago

Gracie the 6-year-old Pit Bull disappeared from her Chicago home in December 2019 after a houseguest left the front door open. Ever since then, owner Kelly Shade has been trying to find her.

“We posted signs everywhere; we posted on Lost Dog Illinois, contacted all the shelters in the neighborhood and I just cried for months,” Shade told ABC 7.

Kelly Shade's Pit Bull Gracie went missing in 2019.

Source: YouTube/ABC 7 Chicago
Kelly Shade’s Pit Bull Gracie went missing in 2019.

Nearly a year later, someone else in the Jackson Park Highlands neighbor had spotted Gracie less than two miles away from her home, but she wasn’t being cooperative. She acted skittish, and became frightened if any other human or animal got close.

Neighbors found Gracie less than two miles from her home.

Source: YouTube/ABC 7 Chicago
Neighbors found Gracie less than two miles from her home.

That’s when neighbor Polly Ellison had a clever idea, People reports. Ellison gained Gracie’s trust little by little, feeding her every day.

“She was in obvious fear of potential harm [and] I just couldn’t turn my back on her,” Ellison said.

Gracie acted frightened whenever humans or other animals would approach.

Source: YouTube/ABC 7 Chicago
Gracie acted frightened whenever humans or other animals would approach.

It took a few months, but the work paid off. Ellison and friend Katie Campbell, who has helped rescue other stray dogs, managed to get Gracie under control. The pit bull’s microchip led them to Shade.

When Shade learned Gracie had been found, “I just started crying all over again,” she said.

Two women who rescued Gracie tracked down Shade by the dog's microchip.

Source: YouTube/ABC 7 Chicago
Two women who rescued Gracie tracked down Shade by the dog’s microchip.

The reunion was quite emotional.

“She got close and that tail started wagging, and she just lost it and I lost it,” Shade said.

“People need to realize the ability of a dog to survive and just never give up on them.,” added. “That’s really the biggest thing you can teach people is never give up.”

Shade calls this reunion a

Source: YouTube/ABC 7 Chicago
Shade calls this reunion a “holiday miracle.”

“Definitely a holiday miracle,” Shade said. “It’s definitely remarkable.”

See how this reunion played out in the video below.

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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