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It was almost 2-years ago when a Florida family’s dog escaped the back yard and went missing. But, thanks to a microchip and a couple of good Samaritans some 1,200 miles away, she’ll finally return home.
On Tuesday, as the Moneck family were clearing their West Palm Beach, Florida home of damage and debris left by Hurricane Irma, 18-year old Richard Moneck answered a call from an unknown number.
The caller claimed to be from a New York animal rescue, calling with information about the family’s dog.
“At first I thought it was a scam,” he told Long Island’s Newsday. “Then I called her and she was telling me everything. I was shocked, I didn’t even think my dog would be all the way up in New York.”
Nearly 2 years ago, then 16-year old Richard had fallen in love with the stray dog when she showed up at a nearby warehouse. The Moneck family rescued her from the streets and, after weeks of searching for her owner, checking nearby shelters, and posting “found dog” notices, no one came forward to claim her. They named her Relay and gave her the loving home she deserved.
For a year and a half, Relay was a beloved member of the family, sleeping every night in Richard’s bed. Until one day she climbed under the family’s fence and escaped.
The Monecks spent months looking for her, putting up flyers, knocking on doors, and visiting nearby businesses in hopes she’d been spotted. Surveillance video footage from a gas station appeared to show a man picking up Relay and putting her in his van.
Relay wasn’t seen again until Tuesday – nearly two years later – when a woman in Long Island brought a stray dog she found to Freeport animal rescue, Bobbi and the Strays.
Volunteers with the rescue scanned the shepherd-mix and discovered she had a family looking for her – about 1,200 miles away in Florida!
After exchanging photos, all agreed this was definitely Relay and now begins the process of getting her back home. Bobbi and the Strays is looking for volunteers to drive Relay down to Florida. They’re asking anyone who can help to call the shelter at 516-378-4340.