AMAZING: Dog missing for months reunited with family after spelunkers find her in cave

Two months later, Abby is back home after an adventure no one saw coming. (Source: KFVS)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 12:42 PM CDT

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS/Gray News) – Cave adventurers in Missouri made the discovery of a lifetime when they happened to come across a dog that had been missing for two months.

The dog’s owners, Kathy Bohnert and Jeff Bohnert, said they hadn’t seen their 13-year-old dog named Abby since June 9.

“It’s hard to believe, she’s been gone for so long,” Kathy Bohnert said.

They thought they would never see Abby again.

“I pretty much knew right away that she probably wasn’t coming back or that she had been injured and couldn’t get back,” Jeff Bohnert said.

But two months later, Abby is back home after an adventure no one saw coming.

This weekend, around 30 people with the Cave Research Foundation got together to map out some caves ahead of a bigger event in a few weeks.

Gerry Keene, who has been caving for over a decade, said about five kids were with the group. The children were walking quickly with excitement and got a little bit ahead of Keene and the group.

“All the sudden you get the kids going, ‘Dad! There’s a dog here!’” Keene said.

Lying in the middle of the cave, the kids had found Abby.

Group member Rick Haley said they could see the dog needed help quickly. Both Haley and Keene know cave rescue procedures and sprang into action.

They called authorities, and while they waited, Keene began going around nearby neighborhoods trying to find Abby’s owner.

“He walked around the neighborhood knocking on doors, showing a picture on a phone, ‘Hey is this your dog?’” Haley said.

The cavers could see Abby was malnourished and struggling to move and walk. They came up with the idea to use a duffle bag to get her above ground.

“I got that bag out, unzipped it, laid the blanket in, and the dog at that point walked over and sat in the bag,” Haley said. “Because the dog recognized that, ‘This is the driest, warmest and softest thing I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m just gonna lay on it.’”

They slowly worked together to get her to the surface.

“I’d hand her up, he’d set her down, he’d move up, then I’d move up, then we’d hand her up again,” Haley said.

The group of cavers found the Bohnerts and returned Abby home to them. The family just can’t believe she was alive and back home now.

Their daughter Rachel Bohnert, away at college, is over the moon her beloved childhood pet was found. When Abby was missing for so long, Rachel Bohnert said she lost hope.

When her dad FaceTimed her and told her he had a surprise, Rachel Bohnert was never expecting to see Abby on the other end of the phone.

“He flips the camera around and it’s her, and I was like, ‘How is she here?’” Rachel Bohnert said. “This is impossible that she’s still alive.”

Jeff Bohnert said Abby is getting back to her old self.

“She acts pretty normal, she really hasn’t barked yet, I guess she doesn’t have the energy for it,” Jeff Bohnert said.

The Bohnert family said Abby is very lucky the cavers found her when they did. The cavers agreed.

“You had the right people at the right place at the right time,” Haley said.

Kathy Bohnert said they are slowly adding more calories to Abby’s diet to get her healthy again. Her body has taken a hit because she spent so long in starvation mode, but the family is hopeful she will make a full recovery.

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