A family was reunited over the holidays with their dog that had been missing four years.
Dodger disappeared while the Willey Family of Owings Mills was away. They thought he had been safe inside, but when they got home, the Collie mix was gone, with no signs of how he got out.
They searched everywhere and called all the local shelters -- no luck.
But on Dec. 27, an older Collie was found on Honeysuckle Lane in Severna Park. A good samaratin brought the dog to Anne Arundel County Animal Control.
Officials discovered the dog had a microchip, but the phone number didn't work. The microchip company, however, was able to give them an alternate number on file -- a member of the Willey family living in Virginia. It turns out that the Willeys had moved to North Carolina.
Just three days later, on Dec. 30, William Douglas Willey and his sons were back in Maryland, reuniting with their long, lost Dodger.
According to animal control, officials have no idea where the dog has been living all this time. However, because of abrasions on his face and missing teeth, chances are his life has been tough.
Animal Control officials said they are "elated" to reunite Dodger and his family and wish them the best of luck.
They also encourage the public to microchip their pets.
The county Animal Control holds microchip clinics on the third Thursday of every month. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Animal Control at 410-222-8900, visit the clinic located at 411 Maxwell Frye Road in Millersville, Maryland or to get a microchip implanted by their regular veterinarian.
Family reunited with dog lost for four years
The Willey family and Dodger (Anne Arundel County Police Department)