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Dog Thought to Have Died in December Barn Fire Reunited With Illinois Family

January 17, 2023

An Illinois family has reunited with their dog that had been lost since a barn fire occurred on their property in early December.

Ollie, a German shepherd/golden retriever mix, was last seen 62 miles from his house in December after going missing following a barn fire.

Family members assumed they were being interviewed on January 5 to raise awareness about their dog being missing, but a reunion was actually the true purpose. With the help of Woodford County Animal Control, the family was able to pick up Ollie.  

“He has a collar with a tag and it has Jim’s phone number on it. One identifying mark is he has a little cut on his nose,” owner Evelyn Zoss told NBC affiliate WEEK-TV in Peoria, Illinois. 

On her Facebook post, Zoss said, “Thank you Jesus, Ollie has been found and is home!!!! You all, thank you for all your prayers and concerns. He was found up past Ottawa walking on I-80 near Marseilles. Basically 70 miles away! We can hardly believe this!”

The 8-year-old dog has not been seen by the family since a barn fire on their property on December 11. Ollie was found on January 4. 

Zoss added, “They still haven’t cleaned up out there. We have the side thought that possibly they’ll find his remains out there, we don’t know.” 

But by a miracle, Ollie turned up to be alive. 

“Ollie spent the last month, I can only imagine his journey through the weather and the miles,” said Tim Abney, of Woodford County Animal Control.

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