Missing Dog Travels 1,500 Miles To Reunite With Family After Three Years [Video]

A missing dog is happy to be home, as he reunites with his equally happy family in Norfolk, Va. Gucci, an American pit bull terrier, went missing three years ago.

Back in 2013, the Kelly family was about to move from Texas to a new home in Virginia, but a few weeks before, five-year-old Gucci went missing. Despite handing out fliers and launching an area-wide search for the pooch, he couldn’t be found.

Ayana Kelly told the Virginian Pilot, “We were devastated.”

“We really felt like we left a family member behind.”

Once they were settled in their new Virginia home, Ayana and her husband Gary and their four children did consider adopting another dog, but say they couldn’t get over the loss of Gucci. Ayana said it was a depressing feeling, “like an empty void you just can’t fill.”

Fast forward three years and a miracle has happened. It turns out Gucci still had his original micro chip and two weeks ago, Gary Kelly received a phone call from the San Antonio animal shelter with some really good news.

The shelter said their missing dog, Gucci, was now in their care. They told the Kellys that someone had looked after Gucci for a while, but couldn’t keep him and took him to the shelter.

As the family is now living 1,500 miles away in Virginia, they couldn’t immediately travel to claim their pet, but they did organize for a Rhode Island-based animal rescue and transport group, For The Love Of Paws R.I. Rescue and Transport, to bring their missing dog home to them.

As reported by Fox News, Wendy Perry of the group that transported Gucci to the Kelly family was concerned that the previously missing dog may have been abused and possibly used for breeding purposes.

“From the looks of him, somebody may have used him for breeding or he was being abused. It’s really hard to tell,” she said.

Perry explained to the family that Gucci might not be the same dog they remembered. However, on reuniting with Gucci, the family says he is the same gray and white dog they remember and he acted almost as if he had never left them. Perry did say Gucci needed to put some weight on as he was looking pretty bad.

The arrival of Gucci at the Kellys’ Virginia home on Thursday night was an emotional reunion, with everyone fighting back tears, as can be seen on the video included below.

As the previously missing dog entered their new Norfolk home, Ayana had trouble keeping back the tears, while Gucci couldn’t stop wagging his tail. He definitely appears to remember the family well.

“He’s the same big baby,” Gary Kelly said. “It’s like one of my kids came home.”

It turns out the return of their missing dog wasn’t the only good news the Kelly family received this week, as just three days later, Ayana Kelly was told she was in remission after having been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in August last year.

In related news on the Inquisitr, last year in July, another missing dog turned up after two years. Rocky the Boxer traveled 1,800 miles from Arizona to Indiana to be reunited with his family.

In August last year, another missing dog was returned to his family, but this time after nine years. In a story similar to the Kelly family, Boozer the Boxer’s owners were moving from Tennessee to Alabama and the dog went missing shortly before they left.

Nine years later, Boozer was taken to the Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden, Colorado, and thanks to his micro chip, the animal shelter found the family’s previous address in Tennessee. With a little investigation, they tracked down the Goldston family and reunited them with their beloved pet.

It all goes to prove the benefits of micro chipping your family pet, as you never know when it will come in handy.

[Photo via Flickr by Matthew Roth, cropped and resized/CC BY-NC 2.0]