Puppy left for dead gets new home for Christmas - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Puppy left for dead gets new home for Christmas

(KFVS) -

An abandoned puppy in Patton, Missouri turned into one Arkansas boy's Christmas surprise.

An Arkansas family searched high and low for a friendly puppy as a Christmas gift for their son. 

Josh and Ashlee Cross searched for around their town in Fayetteville, Ark. and several online sites, but could not find an animal available for their son, Wyatt for Christmas. 

At one point, Wyatt found a puppy on Pet Finder that lived Zalma, Mo. However, his parents thought the puppy was unavailable and the pup was six hours away. The family that had searched for months for the perfect puppy gave up hope.

Marilyn Neville, Rescue Director of the Bollinger County Stray Project, received a call one day from Ashlee Cross asking if the dog was available. 

Neville then called Tim Winters of Bollinger County to see if it might be possible to help surprise the family with a dog for Christmas. Winters agreed to do whatever it took to help put a smile on Wyatt's face for Christmas.

Wyatt was thrilled and happy he had the dog he always wanted. He named the dog "Sport."

The Bollinger County Stray Project headed by Marilyn Neville has rescued and cared for many pets including the puppy. Neville says that in late November, the puppy, his mother and siblings were abandoned and left for dead in an abandoned structure in Patton. The dogs were rescued and taken care of by the Bollinger County Stray Project. 

Since then, the mother of the puppies has been adopted by a family in Florida while her other pups were adopted by other families in the southeast Missouri area. When Marilyn received the call from Ashlee, she jumped on the opportunity to help surprise this family and called Tim Winters.

Winters delivers pets with the Pilots-n-Paws organization. This organization is a not-for-profit that organizes animal rescue flights from shelters or rescues to their adoptees. Winters had planned on flying the Christmas canine to the family in Arkansas but the weather was too unsafe to fly at that time. Winters took it upon himself to drive across Missouri and meet up with the family to deliver the pup just three days before Christmas. The puppy stayed at another family member's home until it was taken to the Cross's home for Wyatt.

Winters has been involved with Pilots-n-Paws for about two years and has delivered 29 pets to adoptees. Winters loved to fly and decided to help this organization to help others find furry loved ones. Winters says delivering the puppy to the Cross family has been one of his favorite experiences. Winters says after he saw the video of Wyatt surprised with his new dog, it felt very rewarding and he was glad he could help out the family.

Ashlee Cross says Wyatt was very excited when he saw his new Christmas present walk out to him. She's thankful for all the help from everyone to help give her son the perfect gift.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly