Missing dog

‘I'm Still in Shock': Dog Missing for 12 Years Reunited With California Owner

'I definitely didn't expect this to ever happen,' the dog's owner said

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A California woman was recently reunited with her dog who went missing 12 years ago.

Michelle, who lives in Benicia, was reunited with her dog Zoey in Rio Vista after the long-lost pet turned up earlier this month in the Central Valley looking "old and unwell," the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post.

"Honestly, I'm still in shock," Michelle said in a video published by the sheriff's office. "I definitely didn't expect this to ever happen. Really excited. Excited to hopefully bring her back, get her healthy and let her live the rest of her life."

Michelle told the sheriff's office that she picked up Zoey and her sister from the pound when they were puppies.

"They were with us for about six months," Michelle said. "And then we went to the store for about 20 minutes and came back and [Zoey] was missing."

Fast-forward to Feb. 10 of this year. That's when Animal Services Officer Brandon Levin received a call about a stray dog who had been dropped off at a rural property in the Stockton area. The caller said the dog didn't appear to be in good shape, according to the sheriff's office.

Levin scanned the dog for a tracking chip and discovered that her name was Zoey and that she had been reported missing out of Lafayette back in 2010.

Since Zoey had been missing for so long, the microchip company in 2015 listed her as deceased in its records, the sheriff's office said.

Authorities called the phone number linked to Zoey's chip, reached a stunned Michelle and were able to coordinate the reunion.

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