Missing St. Petersburg Rottweiler reunited with owner after wild odyssey

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – He’s home, happy and healthy. Volunteers who helped track down and return a missing Rottweiler puppy, to his St. Petersburg home, are being thanked by the dog’s owner.

The puppy, named “Mahi” vanished in November.

Mahi’s owner Jason Gell threw a party to celebrate at Ferg’s Sports Bar in St. Petersburg.

Mahi is spending his second night in his dog bed at his owner’s Shore Acres home. Somehow, he ended up at a mobile home park in Seffner.

65 pounds when he disappeared in November, Mahi weighs in now at almost 100 pounds.

“He’s physically healthy. I mean, whoever had him, I will thank you at least enough for taking care of him physically. Emotionally he is totally screwed up and it’s gonna take a little while but that’s fine,” Jason Gell said.

On that November night, Mahi managed to get out of Gell’s yard.

The driver reportedly told police he thought the dog was lost when he discovered it in the St. Pete neighborhood. A worker at Gell’s home left a gate open, allowing Mahi to escape.

Gell went public, telling 8 On Your Side how the missing puppy consumed his life.

On Tuesday, while in Las Vegas, Gell’s mother called with the good news that the dog was found in a mobile home in Seffner.

Gell even took a red-eye flight to reunite with his beloved pooch.

“I won the lottery and I almost got my heart ripped out at the same time. Imagine taking everything you have and throwing it on the line and going either you win or lose and in this case, I won” said Gell.

He is positive this is Mahi. He has an ear that flops over, a tooth that sticks out and 3 gray hairs on his neck. 

“When I walked in the door, he sat down and nuzzled up right here in my lap and buried his face and actually, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a dog cry, it doesn’t happen very often. He did” said Gell.

He believes 8 On Your Side stories played part in Mahi’s recovery.

Mahi is now microchipped, registered and will always be near Jason.

“I literally tied a rope to him instead of a leash cuz I know this won’t break,” Gell said.

Mahi’s story went nationwide but how he ended up in Seffner, is still a mystery.

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