News / World

Dog that disappeared in Florida in 2016 is found in New York

Volunteer Myra Kennett, of the rescue group Bobbi and The Strays, plays with Relay at the facility in Freeport, N.Y., Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. The German shepherd mix went under a backyard fence in West Palm Beach, Fla. in February 2016 and the dog's microchip has been traced back to the owners. The shelter's looking for a volunteer to drive the dog to Florida. (Danielle Finkelstein/Newsday via AP)

Volunteer Myra Kennett, of the rescue group Bobbi and The Strays, plays with Relay at the facility in Freeport, N.Y., Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. The German shepherd mix went under a backyard fence in West Palm Beach, Fla. in February 2016 and the dog's microchip has been traced back to the owners. The shelter's looking for a volunteer to drive the dog to Florida. (Danielle Finkelstein/Newsday via AP)

FREEPORT, N.Y. — A dog that disappeared in Florida in February 2016 has been found in New York.

A woman who said she found the German shepherd-Jack Russell Terrier mix brought it last week to a Long Island and New York City rescue group called Bobbi and The Strays, which traced its microchip and tracked down its astonished family in West Palm Beach, Florida.

"I had said many times, 'They're going to find that dog. They may not find that dog alive, but somehow, some way, they're going to find the chip on that dog and they're going to be calling us,'" Rick Moneck told The Associated Press in a phone call on Saturday. Nonetheless, the news came as quite the shock.

"I never, ever expected — you know, we kind of gave up on it," said Moneck. "After this much time had gone by, you just move on with your life."

Moneck told Newsday, which first reported the story, that his family adopted the "beautiful" and "well-behaved" dog, named Relay, as a puppy in 2014.

One day, Relay set off to explore.

"I think she's a wanderer," Moneck told the AP. "And I think she was just an opportunist dog and happened to see that she could fit underneath the gate."

The family scoured the area and put up fliers.

"The lady in the gas station said she saw a man call the dog over and walk away with the dog," Moneck said. A blurry video appeared to show a man putting Relay into his car.

In addition to the chip, Moneck said, Relay had left home wearing "a brand new collar, a leather collar, with her name in brass" — and his son's name, address and phone number.

However the dog got to New York, it's about to experience some more mileage.

Bobbi and The Strays has been looking for a volunteer to drive Relay to Florida.

Moneck told Newsday it's "unbelievable" that his family will be reunited with the "dog that we loved so much."

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Associated Press correspondent Julie Walker contributed to this report.

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