By Jamie Leary

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – A Westminster couple is praising their community for an unusual, but heartfelt effort to find their lost Labrador.

hail dog 6pkg transfer frame 360 Dog Reunited With Family Thanks To Stranger, Twitter & Chris Spears

(credit: CBS)

Tammy and Gary Backus were documenting Monday night’s hail storm from their second story balcony. They knew Angel, their 18-month-old yellow lab, was frightened, but the couple never expected what came next.

Angel took a flying leap right off the balcony.

hail dog 6pkg transfer frame 752 Dog Reunited With Family Thanks To Stranger, Twitter & Chris Spears

(credit: CBS)

“Never have we seen something like this. Ever,” said Tammy Backus.

Tammy ran after Angel, but the terrified dog ran out of sight. The Backus’ feared the worst, especially since Angel was without her collar.

The dog ran until she appeared out of steam. That’s at least how she looked when Will Hastings spotted her. He was outside taking photos of the storm with his girlfriend.

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(credit: Will Hastings)

“I could tell when she was sitting there, that she was just beat. Pretty much at that point, my girlfriend and I made the decision that we were going to see this thing through and get her in the car one way or another,” said Hastings.

Angel wouldn’t come near Hastings. He took a video and decided to tweet it hoping someone might see it. The problem? Hastings only has 56 Twitter followers.

“I was trying to think, who do I know that has the furthest reach? And I took a class with Chris Spears last semester, meteorology,” said Hastings.

Hastings’ former instructor, CBS4’s own Chris Spears, who is a self-proclaimed dog-lover has close to 8,000 Twitter followers.

Spears immediately re-tweeted his former student and someone recognized Angel. That someone happened to be the Backus’ neighbor who immediately ran to show Tammy and Gary the tweet.

“I was just in shock that tweets that I know nothing really about are already going everywhere,” said Tammy who was previously unfamiliar with Twitter.

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Tammy Backus (credit: CBS)

Hastings and his girlfriend worked for 45 minutes to coax Angel into his car. Less than 2 hours later, Angel was back with her family.

“We heard somebody and it was Will saying ‘are you guys looking for a dog?’ and we said ‘yes’ and he said ‘a yellow lab?’ and I said ‘yes’ and I melted in the parking lot,” cried Tammy.

She was at a loss for words when she thought about all the people who helped find Angel. Hastings said he was happy to help and even offered the Backus’ dog sitting whenever they needed.

Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.

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