A dog who got lost in a car accident during a snowstorm was reunited with its owners, thanks to the help of animal lovers across Colorado’s Western Slope. It took a month before Mia, a shy and quiet eight-year-old dog with brown spots and floppy ears, was sighted near the scene of the accident.
The accident happened during one of the first storms of the winter, a day after Christmas 2021. Charles Reigies and his girlfriend, Hanna Poscente, together with their dog, Mia, were driving back home to Grand Junction from Denver on Interstate 70 when they hit a patch of black ice.
Reigies lost control of the vehicle, and they swerved, causing the Jeep to crash on its side. When the accident happened, it was nighttime and very dark outside, with the nearest town being 7 miles away.
Reigies recalled that by the time he regained consciousness, he saw his girlfriend hurt and their dog missing.
As the ambulance took Hanna to the hospital with a broken neck, Reigies searched for his dog in the snow while waiting for the tow truck. But, Mia was nowhere to be found.
When Hanna returned home from the hospital the following day, she reactivated her social media account to post about Mia. She joined several online organized groups dedicated to finding lost pets in their community.
Her post received a lot of likes and shares, and for days, she waited for any news or information about their dog’s whereabouts. People from different small towns separated by miles of the frozen landscape were very helpful and were always on the lookout for any sightings of her dog.
“They were like their own little village looking for Mia,” Hanna said.
One such person who was very active in helping the couple was Janet Cross, who lives about 20 minutes from the accident site. She set up a trail camera near the site because she believes that pets tend to return to where they got lost.
And, indeed, in a matter of days, the camera recorded her. “She’s looking at the spot. She’s looking for her family. She’s looking skinny. So yeah, it was pretty heartbreaking,” Cross said. Animal control helped in setting a trap around the area, which Cross checked every hour.
However, the dog never stayed for long, as she came and went to the site. Due to the cold weather and how secluded the accident site area is, catching Mia makes it doubly hard and frustrating for the concerned parties.
One fateful day, after eight days of no Mia sightings, Hanna received a call that the dog was sighted 10 miles from the crash site. Hanna, still in a neck brace, was driven to the sight by a friend. They did not spot Mia that day but got lucky when they tried the following morning.
Hanna caught sight of Mia near the train tracks camouflaged in snow and sagebrush. The dog did not run off but recognized and walked towards her.
Hanna was filming the entire incident but got cut off when Mia excitedly jumped all over her. It was the same scene all over again as they arrived home, reuniting with her boyfriend.
“As soon as I saw her in there, it was over. It was just tears galore,” Reigies recalled as his dog knocked him off his feet.
Mia was checked by a veterinarian and was found to be healthy and good, although a little bit skinny.
Cross was also elated by the news. “She fought traffic and predators and snow and wind,” she beamed, “she made it.”
After one month and a day, Mia was back in the warm, loving arms of her family, thanks to the concerted effort of the community.