UPDATE: Willie the Great Pyrenees reunites with owner

Ouachita Parish, La.-- - UPDATE [9/6/2017 9:00 p.m.]

After days of being held at a local animal shelter Willie, a Great Pyrenees, was finally reunited with his owner.

Willie's owner, Joan Albritton, said she picked up the pooch Tuesday morning.

We first covered the story after family members fought to have their dog released from the Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter.

Willie had disappeared from the family's home back in July and surfaced on the animal shelter's Facebook page last week.

Yet, when Albritton went to pick up Willie, shelter employees refused to hand him over.

Lawyer officials said Albritton had to wait until Tuesday to pick up her dog saying there wasn't enough solid evidence to prove she was his owner.

At the time WIllie had not been chipped and the tags on his collar had been removed.

Owners tell us Willie is now chipped and safe at home.


All Joan Albritton wants is for her fuzzy Great Pyrenees, Willie, to come home.

The two were inseparable until two months ago when he disappeared from her home. 

"I got in touch with all my neighbors, drove all the roads, went to people's houses," Albritton said. "Anytime anyone would say I saw a big white dog I would go look. I thought he was stolen all along and I still feel like he was stolen."

A few days ago, Albritton opened up Facebook to a surprise. A photo of Willie was posted at the Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter.

Ecstatic, she rushed to get Willie, but after several trips to the shelter this week, Albritton said employees refused to let him go.

"He cried when I left and every time I've come and left he's cried," she said.

Parish lawyers said the Albrittons didn't have enough evidence to prove Willie was theirs because he wasn't chipped and his collar tags had been taken off.

They said the family will have to wait until Tuesday to get him, when Willie is up for adoption.

"I don't know why they won't give me my dog. It doesn't make sense because I'm the owner of the dog," Albritton said.

"She has records of when she adopted the dog, vet records, pictures, the missing post," her granddaughter Sydney said. "You'd think that would be enough evidence. If that's not enough evidence to show a missing dog , I don't know what is."

Local veterinarian Keri Cataldo said situations like the Albritton's show the importance of chipping your dogs.

"If for any reason your pet gets lost or stolen you notify the company. They immediately send out emails and faxes to all the area clinics and shelters," Cataldo said.

Albritton said as soon as she gets Willie, this is going to be the first thing she does.

"I don't want to go through this again. Don't want to go through this again," she added. 

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