A New York dog named Rocco who went missing five years ago is making headlines after turning up at an animal shelter – in Florida.
The Beagle was found 850 miles away from his Queens home in Hinesville, Fla., after being dropped off at Liberty County Animal Control on July 5 as a stray. A shelter worker scanned the dog’s microchip, which linked the dog to owner Jorge Villacis.
“Every time I would see a dog on the street, I would say to my mom, ‘Maybe Rocco will come back,’” Jorge’s daughter, Natalie, now 10, told the New York Post. “She would say that he probably isn’t going to come back. I would say, ‘I know, but maybe he will.’”
When Natalie’s parents, Jorge and Cristina, listened to the voicemail saying the shelter had Rocco, the couple thought it was a mistake.
“We didn’t think it could possibly be him – Natalie never stopped thinking about him, but we thought he was gone for good,” said Jorge, who flew to Florida to retrieve the dog, who had a small scratch on one ear but was otherwise in good health.
After Rocco returned home, Natalie asked her mother, “Where do you think he has been all this time?”
“I don’t know,” Cristina told her. “But if he could tell us, I’m sure he has more than enough material for a novel.”