Not so long ago, PEOPLE reported on scores of human and pet reunion stories in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Recently, a dog sibling reunion story with a unique and scientific twist came to our attention.
Through a DNA dog kit called Embark — think: 23andMe for mutts — the pet parents of a pup named Daegyeon in Long Island, New York, and the owners of his same-litter sibling in Birmingham, Alabama, found out about each other.
Both sets of owners simply submitted swabs of their 1-and-a-half-year-old pups’ tongue and inner cheek pouches to Embark Vet, a DNA test kit for dog owners, which supplied them with extensive data about their dogs, from their mix of breeds to potential allergies and health concerns.
As seen in the video above, Ollie — who had been found abandoned and tied to a stop sign — was adopted by an Alabama woman named Kristina who was seeking an emotional support dog. Post-Hurricane Harvey, a lot of dogs were brought to Birmingham. When she went to meet him, she says it was an immediate connection: “Our eyes met and I knew he was going to be my furry friend forever.”
Meanwhile, Ollie’s brother Daegyeon was adopted by Hye and San in New York. They say they spent two years looking for the perfect dog, and when they finally met their pup at an adoption event, they fell in love.
Hye and San say that they initially thought Daegyeon was part pit bull and part retriever, but upon receiving his Embark results, they learned he was a mix of eight different breeds: Staffordshire terrier, German Shepherd, Labrador retriever, Chow Chow, Rottweiler, American Eskimo Dog, Boxer (and “Supermutt”).
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After Ollie’s DNA went into the system, a data scientist noticed that he had a sibling (Daegyeon!) already in the database from the same exact litter. The scientist alerted the CEO of Embark, who helped make the sibling reunion in New York possible. The rest is history.
Watch the video about their reunion date in New York above, and consider reuniting your own pet with its long-lost birth family through Embark.
Buy it! Embark Dog DNA Test, $189.00; Amazon.com
Ollie and Daegyeon’s parents have kept in touch and share photos of the brothers frequently. Daegyeon also hopes to visit Ollie in Alabama in the future.