NORFOLK, Va. – A dog that disappeared three years ago finally had his day when he was reunited with his family in Virginia — more than 1,500 miles from where they'd last seen him.
Ayana Kelly and her family welcomed back their American pit bull terrier Gucci on Thursday, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
The dog went missing in 2013 from the family's yard in San Antonio, Texas, two weeks before they moved to Norfolk, Virginia.
The family made fliers and searched the neighborhood but didn't find Gucci, Kelly said. She said she thinks someone took him.
"We were devastated," Kelly said. "We really felt like we left a family member behind."
Two weeks ago, Kelly's husband, Gary, received a call from a San Antonio animal shelter saying the microchipped dog was there.
The family was told someone had cared for Gucci for a while but couldn't anymore, and eventually took him to the shelter.
Kelly said she wanted to leave immediately to retrieve Gucci, but it was too far. She hired an animal rescue group, For The Love of Paws R.I. Rescue and Transport, to transport Gucci to Virginia.
Wendy Perry, who drove Gucci to the Kellys' home, warned the family that Gucci wasn't the same dog back who disappeared three years ago. He may have been used for breeding or abused, she said.
But after the trip, Kelly said, Gucci was the same gray and white dog when he arrived at his new home late Thursday. He wagged his tail and ran around as if he'd been there before, she said.
"He's the same big baby," Gary Kelly said.