Ali and Jon Rollins have lived in Chicago for 17 years. On May 4th, 2021, their deaf Australian Shepherd Lex ran away after utility workers left their gate open.

Using just the dog's collar, they were able to find him within minutes — they knew they had to do so quickly since they live on a busy one-way street.

Here is an excerpt from how Jon, who is also deaf, signed the story to us:

“So after I let Lex outside in our backyard with the fence, I was sitting down and watching TV, and I would say 5 minutes later, the alarm on my watch went off like someone had texted me. When I looked, it had said “Lex left the property”, and that was when I felt that something was wrong…”

Luckily, Lex is a rescue from Speak! St. Louis, a 501(c)3 foster-based Australian Shepherd rescue primarily for deaf and blind dogs. Speak! St. Louis works with Fi to provide collars during a dog’s time in foster care, and extend this safety net to their forever families. Jon was able to follow Lex’s precise location and find him safe and sound in the hands of a family on a nearby street.

For Lex and the Rollins family, crisis was adverted. It’s a good ending for a nerve-racking story that thankfully, stayed close to home.

“If we didn’t have the gps tracker, I don’t know if we would have ever found him,” Eli Rollins says, “or if we found him, it would’ve taken a very long time.”