It's been 11 years since a Massachusetts dog owner saw her Yorkshire Terrier, Rex, but now, he's back home in Stoughton where he belongs.
The Yorkie's owner, Marzena Niejadlik, reported him stolen 11 years ago.
"We were really hoping that would, one day, happen, and finally, it did," said Marzena Niejadlik.
She says she bought the dog as a gift for her mother after her brother died in 2010.
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"It was sudden and unexpected, a huge tragedy. We were all devastated, and I kind of was thinking that maybe getting a dog, and especially a Yorkie, will maybe bring some cheer into our family ," she said.
Niejadlik says the dog was only a few months old when he ran out of the house one day, and a witness told her someone took him.
After spending several months actively searching for him, there was no sign of Rex.
"It's hard to believe, like you eventually have less and less hope with every year," she said.
All of that changed Wednesday, when an animal control officer in Stoughton got a call about a Yorkie running loose on Record Street. He did not look well cared for, police noted.
"When I called the microchip company, they said he was linked to a woman that lived in Dorchester, which I was a little concerned about, that's far away from Stoughton," said Michelle Carlos of Stoughton Animal Control.
She gave him a bath and some food, then gave Niejadlik a call.
"She was just overjoyed and in disbelief that I had her dog," Carlos said.
Niejadlik arrived at the police department for a long-awaited reunion. She brought Rex home to her 9-year-old twins, who got to meet the dog for the first time.
"Very small, I thought he was going to be bigger," her young daughter said.
"They couldn't stop talking about the dog and how happy they are to have it," Niejadlik said.
Carlos says she was happy to be able to reunite Rex with his family and she says it serves as a reminder of why it's important to microchip your pets.