Sukie, a Labrador retriever mix, is safe with her foster caretaker Magie Lugo in Garfield, New Jersey. "She's doing all right, she's just a little skinny," Lugo said. "A little skin and bones right now but that's nothing we can't fix."
The dog has been on a remarkable journey. Her former owner Michael Compton rescued her in Puerto Rico.
"They were going to take them out and throw them away out just like trash," Compton said. "I got a box, came back said, 'Don't you touch these dogs — they're mine."
But later Compton had to give Sukie to a shelter in Puerto Rico when his wife became sick.
On Sept. 15, Sukie was put on a flight to Newark to be placed in a new home. Shortly after the plane landed, she escaped.
Jim Tierney then entered the picture.
Tierney is a professional pet tracker. He set up a cage near the airport equipped with cameras. He tried to lure Sukie out of hiding by putting food in the trap.
"What I wound up doing is using six cameras, placing them in different locations, seeing if I can get her to come across and we did get a sighting from one of the Port Authority Police Department," Tierney said. "They called and said there was this one area that she was in, so I placed a camera there for an entire week."
It would take more than one month to find Sukie and many long nights for Tierney.
"It's an all-night endeavor so sometimes if she doesn't show, what I wind up doing is you tie it open with a bungee cord and you turn it into a crate with food and that's exactly what she did this time," he said.
Sukie was found near train tracks in an industrial area near Newark Airport. Compton was thrilled.
"So many people prayed and made this happened — thank God, it all goes to him," Tierney said. "It's the most fantastic joy tears of joy."
Sukie will soon have a new owner — a woman who lost but never found her dog.