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After search including drones, dozens of volunteers, missing champion dog is found

Tito went missing on Aug. 26 in St. Louis County. The rare champion otterhound's owner announced Tuesday that he had been found.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — UPDATE (Sept. 20): The rare champion otterhound's owner announced Tuesday, Sept. 20 on Facebook that Tito had been found.

In the post, owner Mason Miller thanked everyone who helped in the epic search.

The dog is currently receiving medical care. He was hospitalized after losing about half of his body weight. 5 On Your Side talked with the Miller family after he was found.

"Ah, I get so choked up talking about it still," Samantha Miller said. "Our kids are so happy. Mason can finally sleep."

Samantha said the family had gotten a call from a man, who, like many others, spotted a dog in a Ladue neighborhood Tuesday. But the words he used made this phone call different for Mason.

"He said, 'This dog looks like a sheepdog,'" Mason said. "At that moment, I knew it was Tito."

Like Tito's journey, where they found him was unexpected. Tito was in the foundation of an unfinished home.

"He was curled up just along the wall in the shade," Mason said.

This reunion has healed the Miller family, and it's bringing back joy for their 3-year-old daughter.

"She's running around the house with her arms up yelling, 'We found Tito! We found Tito!'" Mason said.

Much like the foundation where Tito was found, the Miller family has built something special out of this, too. 

"It ultimately turned into more than just a search for a dog," Mason said.

He told 5 On Your Side he wants to thank the entire St. Louis community for helping him with search parties, hanging flyers and providing him with support. 

Mason is also thankful for the Wildwood man who spotted Tito on Tuesday. He said he hopes to use his new Finding Tito platform on social media to help find other lost pets.

ORIGINAL (Sept. 3): A St. Louis County family is still looking for its rare champion otterhound dog. Tito went missing last week, just days after moving to St. Louis County.

It started as a solo search effort from Tito's owner, Mason Miller. But now, Miller says they've added dozens of volunteers, put up nearly 2,000 flyers, and even brought in advanced drone technology.

"It's been a blessing to motivate people and a great opportunity to allow different folks to jump in and meet each other and try to find Tito," Miller said.

When Miller's rare AKC Champion dog Tito went missing, every member of his family felt it, including his young daughter.

"She's walking around the neighborhood every morning asking people to help her find Tito," he said.

Word of missing Tito spread, giving Miller new tools thanks to organizations like the St. Louis County Police Department. 

"They brought out their drones that are equipped with infrared heat transfer sensors," Miller said.

He also got a new set of helping hands like the Shipley family. Michael Shipley and his son Cal went door-to-door taping up flyers Saturday.    

Not only do they love dogs, but they saw Tito moments after he ran away, swimming in their backyard.

"We figured we had to do something," Michael Shipley said.

Even with these new advancements, Miller told 5 On Your Side his mindset is the same as on day one.

"We're still out every night until two or three in the morning, and up at sunrise trying to look for him," Miller said.

There is a Facebook group for all things finding Tito, including a place for people to download and send or print flyers.

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