A community helps reunite a family with their dogs after a wreck - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

A community helps reunite a family with their dogs after a wreck on I-65

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CULLMAN COUNTY - AL -  An accident on I-65 in Cullman County tore a family apart, even their dogs were lost at the scene.  As they always do, Alabamians came together to find them. 


The site of a horrible accident in Cullman became the place where a group of strangers made an un-expected rescue.  

"It was an opportunity to try to help this family that is already experiencing a tragedy and to get their family back together," Sue Jones, an animal rescue volunteer said.

It was 12 days ago Seth and Olivia Hatfield were driving back home to Nashville after visiting family in Alabama when an 18 wheeler ran them off the road. Olivia was left with a brain injury and their two dogs, Molly and Claire ran from the accident scene.  

"I'm a truck driver," Craig Long, a volunteer said. "With a truck being involved, it hit home."

Craig Long said it broke his heart a truck caused the accident. So he took vacation time  to help find Molly and Claire.  

"We went house to house, there were no mail boxes, knocking on doors," Long said.

Molly was found on a front porch - not far from the accident scene. But Claire was traumatized and couldn't be caught. So dozens of volunteers along with a professional tracker set traps - even cooked pork to lure her back. After 12 long days of searching, this morning...

"Went to the second trap, saw something black and white in the trap not sure what it is yet," Jones said. "When I got there, the tail started to wag and I'm going, 'you're good girl we're going to get you to the vet, get you checked out get you back to your family.'"

Just hours later...  

"Molly and her were playing and jumping on each other," Jones said. "Seth was on the ground and they were both all over Seth and they were both all over each other. It was a joyful moment." 

What started as a group 4,000 strong on  Facebook turned into a powerful community working together to bring Olivia's beloved dogs home.  

"Something like this happens,everybody pulls together to make it happen," Long said.

 Olivia is at UAB with severe brain injuries, Seth was released from the hospital. Neither dog was injured in the accident,  both are staying with their veterinarian, until the Hatfield family can take them home.

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