Dog that wandered from New Jersey home 3 years ago found in Tampa

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)- A dog that wandered from her New Jersey home three years ago has been reunited with her family after being found in Tampa this week.  

No one has any idea how 11-year-old Yorkie, Leeann ended up hundreds of miles from home, but her owner says the dog she received as a Christmas present in 2009, got out of their New Jersey backyard in October of 2016.  

Leanne, who was micro-chipped was found a day after Christmas and brought into the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, where they were able to track down her owner, Veronica Bonilla, through email. 

“When I got the email, I was shocked. I went to my husband and I was like, ‘Is this real?’ He said ‘I don’t know, open it.’ When we opened it, he just started tearing because he said he doesn’t want another dog unless it’s Leeann,” said Bonilla. “When I told my daughters, they started crying, my little one was hysterical because that was her best friend.”

Bonilla immediately booked a flight to Tampa and picked up her beloved dog. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay caught the precious moment on camera.  

“I wish she could talk and tell us what happened. When I saw her, it was like ‘oh my baby is home.’ Now she is old and she is sleeping a lot but she went today and got her hair cut and she got her nails cut. On Saturday, she is going to get a full physical,” said Bonilla.

Bonilla made sure to update Leeann’s microchip information each year in hopes her dog would be found and returned. 

“I paid her chip every year faithfully,” said Bonilla. “That’s it. She is just going to stay with us until the end.”

The Humane Society believes the reunion between Bonilla and Leeann highlights the importance of investing in microchipping your pet.  

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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