A dog that went missing from its family home in Virginia in 2003 was found in Northern California and will be returning home for the holidays.
Yuba County sheriff’s officials said Meg Eden of Oregon was working with her own dogs in the Spenceville Wildlife area on Wednesday when she found what looked like a stray American Staffordshire terrier.
Eden took the dog in for the night and then drove it to the Yuba County Animal Care Services Shelter, deputies said.
Employees at the animal shelter scanned for a microchip and one was located. The information on the chip led to the Chancellor Veterinarian Clinic in Virginia.
The Virginia clinic confirmed that the chip was registered to an American Staffordshire terrier.
Deputies said the owner of the dog was identified as Kristen Pruitt of Virginia.
Pruitt contacted the Yuba County Animal Care Services Shelter and said her dog, Petunia, went missing from the family farm around Thanksgiving of 2003.
The shelter sent a photo of the dog to Pruitt, who said she was positive the dog was Petunia.
"She was extremely excited," said Yuba County Lt. Damon Gill of Pruitt's reaction.
Gill added that Pruitt has an 8-year-old who has never even seen the dog.
The shelter is now working with Pruitt to make sure Petunia is home for the holidays.