Virginia Dog Missing for Eight Years Found in California

A dog that disappeared in Virginia eight years ago has been found on the other side of the U.S. at a Northern California animal shelter, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Officials said that Petunia, then three years old, vanished from her Virginia farm around Thanksgiving in 2003. The American Staffordshire terrier was never found despite an extensive search.

But Petunia recently turned up after being brought to an animal shelter near Sacramento, Calif., as a purportedly stray dog.

Yuba County sheriff's officials told KCRA that Meg Eden, of Oregon, brought Petunia to the county's Animal Care Services Shelter Thursday after she found it while working with her own dogs in the Spenceville Wildlife area.

A scan of a microchip found in Petunia connected her to a veterinarian clinic in Virginia. The California animal shelter contacted the Virginia clinic, who subsequently contacted Petunia's owners.

After a photographic match, the California animal shelter said it was working with Petunia's owners to get her home before Christmas.

The owner, Kristen Pruitt, "was extremely excited," Yuba County Lt. Damon Gill told KCRA. Pruitt has an 8-year-old song who has not seen the dog.

NewsCore contributed to this report.