Johnson City Press: Dog reunited with family after being missing for 2 years

Dog reunited with family after being missing for 2 years

Jessica Fuller • Apr 24, 2018 at 11:25 PM

Ken Turman and his family weren’t sure if they’d ever see their dog Ellie again.

She disappeared when her family took her to a dog training facility in April 2016. They’d had Ellie, a German shepherd, since she was a puppy, and they never stopped looking for her.

Turman said he had some leads since she went missing, but it never ended up being Ellie. Nevertheless, they kept checking local shelters and rescue groups in case she showed up. 

“I just had a feeling she was still around,” Turman said. “The kids couldn’t forget.”

After two years of printing flyers and calling local shelters, he got a call from the Washington County Animal Shelter last week, from Operations Manager Tammy Davis. Davis told him animal control officers picked up a German shepherd near Sam’s Club on State of Franklin Road. Turman said he had heard about a German shepherd in that area ever since Ellie went missing, but hadn’t seen the dog or been able to catch it.

Turman said he didn’t want to get his kids’ hopes up in case it wasn’t Ellie, so he went to the shelter alone to see if it was her. Sure enough, he recognized the pup, and pretty soon his wife and four kids joined in the happy reunion.

“I’d been to Rogersville, I’d been to Elizabethton, I’d been to a bunch of shelters just to look, but as soon as I came in I knew it was her,” Turman said.

Ellie had been living near Sam’s Club for the two years she’d been missing, and people had been feeding her. She stayed at the shelter for a few days to acclimate with the family and their two other dogs. She went to the vet earlier this week, and Turman said it went well and that she’s healthy.

“The shelter has been wonderful, we’ve been coming over every day to play with her,” he said. “It’s like she’s never even been gone.”

Email Jessica Fuller at Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at

Johnson City Press Videos