CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Early Thanksgiving morning, Jessie Best and her family packed inside their car, two German Shepherds and all, to start driving from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to visit family.
About halfway through their trip on I-99 in Centre County, the nightmare began.
“We were in a car accident,” said Best. “Somebody crossed the median and hit us and we rolled a couple times.”
Everyone inside the car was okay, but they were short one passenger.
“I’m pretty sure my dog was thrown from the vehicle,” said Best.
That dog was Kyro.
“By the time we stopped rolling and I got out, he was completely across both sides of the road, and I saw him go into the woods,” said Best. “That morning there was only one sighting of him.”
Natalie Hoag was on her way to work at Mount Nittany Medical Center when she saw the accident and pulled over to help.
“I came across this dog running down the highway, and I was like, either this dog caused the accident or he’s from the accident, but either way I need to get him,” said Hoag.
Despite her efforts, Kyro wouldn’t come.
Unable to find their beloved dog, the Best family returned home.
“It was like we lost a member of our family,” said Best.
Much to their surprise, countless Centre County community members stepped up and continued their search through woods and roads.
“It was snowy when we were hiking,” said Hoag. “And we went back to the scene of the accident.”
“Every day, people were out there when we couldn’t be,” said Best. “They were searching for our dog as if he was their own.”
Kyro wouldn’t be found until eight days later when he was spotted near Gray’s Woods in Port Matilda.
“My mom was actually was walking by and she saw him sitting under somebody’s porch,” said Best. “She just sat down, and she started calling to him, and slowly he started walking toward her. You know, his head was down, his tail was tucked was between his legs, but he slowly and methodically walked over to her, and then he just plopped in her lap and laid there.”
That night, Jessie drove back to Centre County to pick up the missing member of their family.
“It was so amazing to see him again cause I had been so worried I would never see my dog again,” said Best.
Centre County was once simply a mile-marker for Best. Now, it was so much more.
“It’s so easy to get lost in the terrible things of the world, but then to see this happen, to see a whole community come together to help us, that was just an amazing feeling,” said Best. “I can never explain how truly grateful I am.”
Now safe at home, Best said Kyro’s wounds are healing and he’s in great spirits, happy to be wagging his tail with family once again.