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Dog, Owner Reunited 6 Weeks After Katrina

October 13, 2005

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (AP) _ It was hard to tell who was more excited Thursday, Nancy Hicks or the tiny dog she was about to be reunited with, six long weeks after leaving her behind to flee Hurricane Katrina.

As television cameras rolled, the 7-pound Chihuahua mix, wearing a miniature Buffalo Bills jersey, scampered toward her owner’s open arms, paused to sniff Hicks’ hands and wagged her tail with gusto as she was scooped up into a hug.

``The only advice I can give is to not stop looking, keep on looking,″ said Hicks, scratching the black-and-white dog’s neck as it nuzzled her chin.

The New Orleans woman had been searching for her pet since returning to her home and finding a note that said a dog had been rescued. Another dog’s body had been found in a bedroom and a third died in the initial flood waters.

Hicks had left the dogs in her house with a 25-pound bag of food and tub of water when she and her family left for a shelter.

Precious became one of 4,000 pets housed in an overcrowded shelter in Gonzales, La., where volunteers from the Buffalo-area SPCA helped out in the storm’s aftermath. One of the volunteers brought the frightened Precious back to Buffalo with her last week, fearing for her health. The dog had been photographed and entered into the Petfinder.com Web site before making the trip.

When Hicks’ daughter stopped by the New Orleans SPCA recently, a volunteer searched the Web site and tracked her to Buffalo.

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