Henrietta, N.Y.— Brittany Arnold held her three-year-old Pomapoo, Cody, tightly in her arms Monday night.
Up until this past Sunday, Arnold wasn’t sure if she would ever see Cody again.
On Valentine’s Day morning, Arnold was in a bad car accident at the intersection of West Henrietta and Lehigh Station Roads. Arnold suffered a concussion and was taken to the hospital. Her baby in the backseat was uninjured, but when first responders tried to open the door, her dog Cody bolted from the car.
“He was so scared,” Arnold said. “I'm not sure if [the policeman] tried to grab him or what, but Cody ran off and he's been missing since then.”
In the following days, Arnold, her family and friends posted missing dog fliers around the area and looked for Cody on foot. Their efforts, however, were fruitless.
Then on Sunday, ten days after the accident, Ralph Pazos, Noah Kelly and their friend were hunting for squirrels, rabbits and coyotes on a plot of land about half a mile away from the where Arnold got into an accident.
They went on a path they usually never take and discovered something odd.
“We came around to a fallen tree,” Pazos said. “A part of it was hallowed out. So we're walking around it and we saw a little head popped out.”
Pazos said at first, he thought it was a possum. When he took a closer look, he saw it was a dog and it recognized him immediately. Pazos had seen a flier about Cody at work. He knew it had to be the same dog.
“He was sitting in the log and he was shaking and shivering,” Pazos explained. “He was wet. His fur was all matted up.”
The men tried to coax Cody out, but it proved harder than expected.
“He backed himself as far as he could get in there,” Kelly said. “Every time we tried to reach in, he tried to bite us. He definitely had a rough few days out there.”
Pazos and Kelly agree that it’s incredible Cody survived.
“If you go back out to the area where he was, there are fox prints and coyote prints where he was staying,” Pazos said. “So he was probably fending a couple of them off them throughout the night.”
The men found a flier and called Cody’s owners. They were reunited that day.
Arnold said that she’s grateful, the hunters had paid attention to their fliers. The men were offered reward money but refused to accept it. They’re pet owners as well, and they’re just glad Cody is back home safe.
“I am just truly thankful and very honored that they cared so much,” Arnold said. “They didn't even know the dog and they cared so much.”