Angry Neighbor Claims To Have ‘Disposed’ Of Family’s Dog Before His Real Scheme Finally Comes Out

Losing a pet is a painful experience. It’s nearly impossible to get closure on the situation, and all you can do is hope your pet is at the very least safe in the care of another loving family. But one family in South Carolina, however, had an extraordinarily painful experience.

After their dog went missing, the South Carolina family received some bad news from their ill-tempered neighbor. But some of the details of the dog’s disappearance didn’t make any sense — until a faraway stranger called them out of the blue one year later…

Ratchet the three-year-old pit bull lived happily with his family in Greenwood, South Carolina. But, a bundle of energy beloved by his owner’s kids, the brown-and-white pit had a bad habit.

erbyatkins / Instagram

Things like fences and private property didn’t mean all that much to the pooch, which was why he ended up in the neighbor’s yard more than a handful of times. The neighbor did not like this.

In fact, the frustrated neighbor told Ratchet’s owners that if he ever saw the dog in his yard again, he would kill the poor thing. An idle threat, the family thought…right?

One day in 2017, however, Ratchet disappeared. There was no opened gate or hole under the fence; he hadn’t scampered away on a walk. Then, they thought of the neighbor’s warning.

Ratchet’s owners confronted the neighbor who admitted he’d followed through on his threat: he saw Ratchet in his yard, so he offed him. But something about his story didn’t quite add up.

See, after being told that their neighbor had just killed the beloved family dog, Ratchet’s owners — who remained anonymous — called the police, who asked the neighbor a few questions…

No matter how much the older man insisted he’d offed the dog, he couldn’t produce the pit bull’s remains. The family wanted those so they could give Ratchet a proper burial.

erbyatkins / Instagram

Time passed, and Ratchet’s owners were tortured by a state of not knowing. Sure, the neighbor insisted he’d killed the dog, but if he had, where was he? Would they ever have closure? Would they ever know?

In August of 2018, almost a year after Ratchet’s disappearance, Ratchet’s owner received a phone call. The speaker introduced herself as Esther Atkins, below — and boy, did she have a story to tell…

erbyatkins / Instagram

Esther and her daughter Grace were walking their border collie mix near their home in Greenville, South Carolina — 70 miles from Greenwood. As they walked, they noticed something curious off the path.

erbyatkins / Instagram

A brown-and-white pit bull played by himself in a puddle of mud. Esther looked around for an owner and didn’t see anyone. The muddy dog was all alone. Dog-lover Esther, luckily, knew what to do.

See, in 2017, she’d found a loose husky and found her owner; a week before finding the pit bull, she helped a neighbor find her missing pooch. “This is something that I just do,” she said of returning lost dogs.

So, despite a bit of apprehension from Grace, she coaxed the pit bull away from the mud puddle. The dog followed Esther home, wagging his tail excitedly for the entire trip!

Once home with the pit bull, Esther and Grace shared the pooch’s picture online, writing: “This sweet boy followed me and Grace home from our morning walk in Skyland Park of Nicholtown in Greenville.”

erbyatkins / Instagram

She then took the dog to the veterinarian to see if he was micro-chipped, and he was. Strangely, however, his listed address was 70 miles away, in a town called Greenwood. Esther called the listed phone number.

That was the phone call Ratchet’s owner received in August 2018, and it was then Esther learned the dog she found — Ratchet, a now four-year-old pit bull — was supposed to be dead.

She informed Ratchet’s owner the dog was very much alive, just 70 miles away. “Her kids were screaming and crying in the background,” Esther recalled about the phone call. “He had been with them his entire life.”

With the news, Ratchet’s owner surmised the neighbor had actually given the dog away to a shelter or family a few dozen miles away and lied about killing him. She set up a time to pick up her beloved dog.

And so it was a Friday morning that Ratchet’s owners jumped in the family van and headed 70 miles northwest towards Greenville to once again see their dog. They filmed the whole journey.

When they finally arrived at Esther’s home, Ratchet’s family could not have been more excited. Ratchet himself couldn’t control his excitement as he practically vibrated standing at the fence, waiting!

Check out the video below to see more of the reunion between Ratchet and his family. You won’t see a dog this happy — just look how fast his tail wags when he sees his family coming through the fence slats!

With Ratchet at home, the family can rest easy after a year of stress and turmoil. Let’s just hope this time, Ratchet stayed in his yard…

Share this pit bull found miles away with your friends below!

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