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'He's a survivor': Dog reunited with family 42 days after fleeing I-95 car crash

Although his body is frail, his spirit is full of life. Emmett, the black lab mix, has been reunited with his family but needs help on his road to recovery.

A family lost one of its four-legged family members after they say he ran away in fear following a car accident on I-95 in October.

After days of searching, Emmett, the family’s black lab mix, was nowhere to be found.

Ashley Thomas had Emmett and her son Tegan Thomas in the back seat of their sedan when she said the tires locked up, making her lose control and crashed into the guardrail and a pole.

Tegan Thomas climbed up into the front seat to exit the vehicle, and she tended to him as his face was bleeding. That’s when Emmett jumped out of the car.

“I just grabbed him, and watched my dog run,” Ashley Thomas said. “I was heartbroken.”

Emmett ran in fear and was gone, without a trace. Ashley Thomas went to Facebook for help, telling their story.

She had multiple replies to her post that he had been seen in the area, but ran when people tried to get closer to him.

“We walked all over, screaming his name,” Ashley Thomas said. “We walked to the woods, and nothing.”

Emmett isn’t just your typical loved family dog. He is a buddy and a brother to Tegan Thomas, who has autism.

“He’s his best friend,” Ashley Thomas said. ”They sleep together. They do everything together.”

On Sunday, the family’s prayer was answered. Emmett walked right into the Walmart on Phillip’s Highway after 42 days on his own. He was skinny and malnourished but finally able to be saved.

“We got a call, and she was like, ‘I have Emmett,’" Ashley Thomas recalled. "And I was like ‘Oh my God, are you sure?’”

Tuesday, Emmett is on the road to recovery. Although his body is frail, his spirit is full of life.

“It shows that he’s a survivor,” Thomas said. “He’s our baby.”

Although Emmett is finally safe with his family, he still needs some help getting to the vet to find how he can fully heal. If you’d like to help Emmett on his road to recovery, the family has set up a GoFundMe page.