A miracle: Shelton family welcomes Charlie home

Photo of Brian Gioiele

A miracle was the only way the Artes family could describe being reunited with their bulldog Charlie, the pup who had been lost for more than a month and, in that time, captured the hearts of the community.

Charlie was found, safe and sound, earlier Wednesday, Aug. 7, by a young couple walking along Bridgeport Avenue. The 1-year old, brown and white bulldog has lost 19 pounds and was “a bit dehydrated,” according to Aimee Artes, but he is sleeping with his family after weeks on the streets.

The Artes have been searching for the pup since July 3, when he slipped out of his harness and ran off during Shelton’s fireworks. Since then, Aimee and her family has been online and out in the streets posting flyers in an attempt to find Charlie.

“This is unbelievable ... it is a miracle,” said John Artes. “This just shows the power of the community. When we all come together, amazing things can be done. We are so happy right now, and we appreciate everything everyone did to help us find Charlie.”

John said he received a call from a young woman earlier Wednesday saying she believed they had found a bulldog fitting Charlie’s description and told him the location - in a ravine between Long Hill and Bridgeport avenues. John said he felt the excitement that he has felt so many times before when such a call would come in, but Aimee cautioned her husband, considering all the false sightings since he went missing.

The city’s animal control officer was on scene feeding Charlie, who was stuck in the ravine, said John. But the true confirmation came when Aimee’s parents arrived, according to John, when Charlie’s signature stubby tail began wagging, and he happily wanted to go to them.

“We found Charlie because everyone was looking for him, the whole community helped us, and that means so much to us,” said Aimee, tearing up as she voiced her appreciation. “We are just so happy. This is a miracle in every sense of the word.”

Charlie was examined by the family veterinarian but besides being a little disheveled and dehydrated, he was fit to spend the night with his family before another vet visit Thursday. The family is just feeding Charlie small portions of food every couple hours.

“He is just really tired,” said Aimee.

Charlie’s discovery was announced on the Shelton Animal Shelter Facebook page in the early afternoon, and social media exploded from then on with people expressing excitement and relief for the Artes family.

“Charlie has been FOUND!!!!” Artes wrote on her Facebook page Wednesday.

“Welcome home Charlie,” was the statement on the shelter’s Facebook page.

Shelter staff stated that “a young couple found Charlie. We are very happy.”

“We have been overwhelmed with the community’s support,” Artes said during the arduous search for their family dog. “We have faith that he will be coming home soon. Charlie is very loved by his family, and we need him home. He is very loved and extremely missed. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and shares.”

“I want to thank everyone for all they have done for us in this difficult time,” said Artes last month.

The family had been offering a $2,000 reward to anyone who found Charlie.