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4-pound dog found on Florida beach had traveled nearly 70 miles in 3 months, cops say

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A 4-pound dog named Tiny went missing in Bartow, Florida, in September 2021. She was found Dec. 30 nearly 70 miles away in Clearwater, police say.

Clearwater Police Department photo

Police in one Florida city are were left mystified after a lost 4-pound chihuahua safely traveled nearly 70 miles in three months.

The 10-year-old dog, named Tiny, was found Dec. 30 wandering the sands of Clearwater Beach, according to the Clearwater Police Department. Clearwater is about 25 miles west of downtown Tampa.

“If only Tiny could talk, she might be able to shed some light on how she made it from Bartow to Clearwater Beach,” the police wrote on Facebook.

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Tiny’s owner, Sophia Burgess, told police the family had continued to hope their dog would be found, and had an ongoing search that included signs throughout their neighborhood.

Still, she was wary when Clearwater police called late in the day on Dec. 30. The facility was closing for the three-day New Year’s Day weekend, so she would have to wait a bit longer to know for sure.

Burgess said she decided not to tell her two children about the call “in case there was some type of mix-up and it wasn’t Tiny after all,” according to the release.

Three days later, when the facility reopened, Tiny crawled into her arms.

Burgess’ two children “were overcome with emotion at the unexpected reunion.”

“They cried like babies,” she said in the release.

How Tiny got so far away from their backyard is a mystery to her, too.

“I wish I had the answer to all of those questions,” Burgess said. “I’ve never even been to Clearwater.”

The discovery happened not long after Burgess’ 15-year-old daughter, Jaliyah, admitted to having “a dream that Tiny came home,” she told police.

Officer Ryan Kenna said he was grateful to be part of an old fashioned happy ending.

“It was the perfect time of year just after Christmas and starting off the new year on a better page for the family,” he said in the release.

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The 10-year-old dog, named Tiny, was found Dec. 30 wandering the sands of Clearwater Beach, according to the Clearwater Police Department. Clearwater Police Department Photo

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.



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