Problem Solved: Companion dog gets returned to girl with autism

Posted at 5:15 PM, Jun 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 17:15:44-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The fight for a West Michigan family trying to get their daughter's companion dog back is finally over.

Amanda Kolk said Lilly has nonverbal autism. So they got her Xena as a companion dog when the pup was 6 weeks old. But Xena disappeared from their yard in April of 2016 at 16 months old.

Kolk put out a plea for help on Facebook and eventually tracked Xena to Northern Michigan, where she had ended up in the animal shelter, and was adopted by a new family.

That new family did not want to give her up.

"She was trying to protect her family which I completely understand because I went through the same thing," Kolk said of the new family.

But Kolk said mounting pressure turned the tide with the family up north deciding to give her back. Kolk picked her up at the Antrim County Animal Shelter Thursday just two days after our story aired.

"It was great. I can't describe it. It's like... It's like a dream. It's like bad dream and just waking up," Kolk explained.

She said, "I knew that if I didn't try my hardest, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself."

Kolk acknowledges she should have had Xena spayed and that's normally when a microchip would be put in. Well, now she says the chip is in and that Xena will be spayed this month.

People have reached out offering to get a new puppy for the family who gave Xena up, but we’ve talked to her landlord and it turns out the family is actually not allowed to have pets on the property.