Florida Dog Missing for 7 Years Reunited with Owner, Found Over 1,000 Miles Away in Michigan

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Eaton County Animal Control Sgt. Pepper the dog and his owner

It's a reunion seven years in the making!

A dog named Sgt. Pepper was reunited with his owner on Wednesday in Michigan — more than 1,000 miles from where he went missing in 2014.

The Yorkshire terrier mix was just 6 years old when he disappeared from his Florida home, according to the Eaton County Animal Control.

Though his owner discovered a "found" posting for him on Craigslist at the time, Sgt. Pepper had already been "claimed by someone who was not his real owner" when his family reached out to collect the pup, the department said in a statement.

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Eaton County Animal Control Sgt. Pepper the dog

Unable to trace Sgt. Pepper, his owner filed a police report and notified the microchip company where she had registered the dog that he had been stolen.

"While we don't know every detail of Sgt Pepper's journey, we did discover how he made it to Michigan," animal control officials said. "Sgt Pepper had been living with a family for the last 5 years who were unaware of his microchip and stolen status."

On Monday, Sgt. Pepper was found in Charlotte and ended up in the hands of Eaton County Animal Control, who were able to track down his original owner courtesy of the contact information found on his microchip.

"We are grateful for their understanding that Sgt Pepper had to be reunited with his original family, and we ask that people please be sensitive towards their situation," the department said. "This incredible story is a testament to the value of microchipping your pet and keeping your contact info current."

Eaton County Animal Control

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Animal control officials said Sgt. Pepper's owner had updated the contact information on his microchip as recently as February 2020, so workers were able to reach her "within minutes of having the dog in possession."

Sgt. Pepper's owner flew to Michigan this week and was reunited with her dog.

"This story also serves as a reminder why it is SO IMPORTANT to have all found dogs scanned for a microchip," Eaton County Animal Control said in a statement. "It is also a great idea to have any new dog you acquire scanned for a microchip just in case, especially if any portion of the pet's history is unknown."