HOWELL, NJ (WPIX/CNN) - After being left to die on the side of the road, a 5-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback lived with a family on Long Island. But one day, Cali disappeared from her own back yard.
Two years later, she turned up at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike, bleeding and emaciated. Luckily, someone called Broken Promises Animal Sanctuary.
“We promised her. I mean, I whispered in her ear, ‘Please fight and I’ll get you home to your family,’” said Anita Innamorata-Stout with Broken Promises.
Near death, the dog was taken in for tests. A huge tumor was invading her brain. They rushed her for emergency radiation.
“They originally gave her days,” Innamorata-Stout said. “If she would make it through the treatment, we weren’t sure. And now they’re giving her somewhere between 10 months and 18 months.”
With the help of the microchip implanted in her back, Cali’s family has been found.
“The owners finally called back. They were sobbing that they lost her two years prior,” Innamorata-Stout said.
The Dibartolo family has since moved to North Carolina, but they plan to make the drive up to New Jersey next week to be reunited with Cali. They took some videos of them and their four children to let Cali know they loved her before she went in for her procedure.
“We love you and miss you, Cali. Come home soon, baby girl,” family members said to the dog via video.
Cali still has a bloody nose and down days. What happened to her in the past two years is unknown. But both her family and the sanctuary are praying for a full recovery.
“Anything is possible at all,” Innamorata-Stout. “Where there is life, there is hope.”
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