Long-lost dog reunites with owner after going missing for 12 years

Dutchess, now 14, went missing in Florida in 2007 and was found this week in Pennsylvania.
After getting loose in 2007, Dutchess was finally reunited with her owner more than 12 years later.
Zac Seymour / Humane Animal Rescue

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/ Source: TODAY
By Kerry Breen

Dutchess, a 14-year-old fox terrier, disappeared from her home in Boca Raton, Florida on Feb. 28, 2007.

It wasn't until this past Tuesday when she was found under a shed by an anonymous person over 1,000 miles away in Carnegie, Pennsylvania and brought to the Humane Animal Rescue in Pittsburgh.

Just three days later, she was reunited with her owner, Katheryn Strang.

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According to a press release shared by the rescue, Strang was in shock when she was told that Dutchess had been found.

"I can't believe you're calling me right now," she said, according to the release. "I can't believe this is happening."

Strang immediately began to make plans to drive from Florida to Pennsylvania, a trip that the rescue estimated would have taken more than eighteen hours, and arrived on Friday afternoon.

Zac Seymour / Humane Animal Rescue

"Humane Animal Rescue is very excited to play a part in this reunion and for the family to finally have closure and a positive outcome nonetheless," said Zac Seymour, manager of digital communications for Humane Animal Rescue, in a statement to TODAY. "Moments like these are so refreshing and motivate us to keep working harder every day. We wish Dutchess nothing but the best with her family."

"Many of us have had the opportunity to spend some time with Dutchess over the past few days, and she was always looking for love and attention," Seymour added. "We can’t help but smile knowing that after all of this time, she’s finally going home to get the care she needs, and the love that she has always deserved."

Humane Animal Rescue said that Dutchess' microchip made the reunion possible. Zac Seymour / Humane Animal Rescue

Neither Strang nor the rescue know how Dutchess managed the extended trip from Florida to Pennsylvania or how she ended up hungry and shivering under a shed. However, the rescue said that a major part in the reunion was Dutchess' microchip, which allowed them to identify her owner.

"In 2018, only 4% of stray animals brought into Humane Animal Rescue as strays were microchipped, consistent with the national average," said the rescue in a press release, which urged families to microchip their pets.