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Arkansas family's missing dog found 1,000 miles away in Florida

Nearly two months after an Arkansas family's beagle went missing, he has been found... in Florida!

POPE COUNTY, Ark. — It's a Christmas miracle!

Nearly two months ago, Kaylee Donnelly and Matt Hedrick's beagle, Cooter, went missing from their home in Pope County, Ark.

"We were chit chatting and he ran off doing his little dog laps and running circles around the yard. Then, I yelled for him and I didn't see him and that was the last time I ever saw him," said Hedrick.

Hedrick and Donnelly said they did everything they could to find Cooter, including making flyers for local businesses and Facebooks posts.  

"We had no luck finding our baby," Donnelly said. 

Cooter has been in the family since he was five weeks old back in April 2021. 

But on Monday morning, November 29, Donnelly received an exciting text message with news that Cooter had been found. 

"A lady texted saying she found our dog and called the number on his collar," Donnelly said.

But, Cooter wasn't anywhere near Donnelly's home in Pope County. He was a thousand miles away in Palm Coast, Florida!

"The people who have him right now, they said, 'Oh, could you imagine the stories he could tell you right now?' and I'm like, 'Yeah I bet that would be crazy. He saw a lot of stuff,'" said Hedrick.

Donnelly said the family was able to FaceTime him and that Cooter was very happy to see them.

Credit: KTHV

"My oldest son is 12 and he has missed Cooter very much," she said. "We all cried when we heard someone found him."

They are planning to make the 15-hour trip to Florida to pick Cooter up this weekend, but they also plan to give the woman who found Cooter a 'thank you' in return... a Beagle puppy from the same litter as Cooter's. 

Cooter's collar had his nameplate sewn in. His owners say that was a big part in him being returned to them. They encourage anyone who has outdoor animals to get something like that, because it's hard to remove.


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