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Rescue pet reunions

Growing number of adopted animals being reunited with littermates

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You may dread going to your family reunion, but we're finding some pet owners are actually thrilled to go to their pet's furry family reunion. We found owners of rescue pets are hosting four-legged gatherings so littermates can reunite.

 "Oh, look there's your brothers and sisters!" "Oh look at this!  They recognize each other," exclaimed one pet owner as the four-legged siblings sniffed each other for the first time since they were puppies.

As many are, the dogs were separated shortly after birth and adopted out to new families, who brought them to this rescue pet reunion party.

Owners compared pooch personalities and traded doggie DNA  test results, which reveal the exact breeds in their four-legged family members' bloodlines.  All while littermates Rosie, Inca, Lilly and Bonnie had lots of playtime.

"It was amazing. They knew each other right, right away," said Eileen Silva, Bonnie's owner.

Happy pet family reunions area growing trend.

"It's been a more recent phenomenon that with the advent of Facebook and other social media avenues people are reaching out to find out what's happening who are their siblings and where they come from," said Edilia Vazquez with All Sato Rescue.

More and more pet owners are barking up their pet's family tree and bringing grown up siblings together for the first time since being adopted.

"That is the coolest thing in the world for us its amazing I mean it's just crazy when you think of it, it's the extended family really," said Vazquez.

From birthday parties to search parties, social media can be key to tracking down your animal extended family. And it's not just for dogs.  We found cats and even rabbits reuniting with  relatives.   But, do pets recognize family?

"There's no science that says dogs remember littermates that they remember who their, their parents are," said Karen Okura, an animal behavior specialist.

Still, Okura helped organize a reunion for a rescue dog named Rita and all her pups on their first birthday.  She says the reunions can benefit adoptive pet parents.

"The owners get to see the sibling of their dog and say hey my dog does that too isn't that funny that you know she runs the same way or that they like the same toy," said Okura.

And pet parties can be great socialization for the pooches, which helps make them more well adjusted. 

"I would absolutely go for it," said dog owner Nick Novello. "They were having a blast here today."

Okura says if you want to plan a pet reunion make sure it's in an enclosed area where dogs can't get loose. Also, don't bring food, which the pooches may fight over. 

And while you may be excited for the meet up, watch your dog carefully to make sure it is enjoying the party.  Depending how well socialized your pet is, it might not be comfortable in the situation.