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Miami stolen dog finds his way back to family in Lehigh Acres

FORT MYERS, Florida – A family that just moved to southwest Florida has given up on seeing their dog again after it was robbed hundreds of miles away.

His family have been waiting for years to see their beloved dog, Zion again. They waited so long that they even started looking for a new dog to join their family to help fill the void he left behind.

But a chance online search is what brought Zion home.

“Zion came to us with another rescue locally,” said Shannon Palzer, shelter manager for the Gulf Coast Humane Society.

For over 300 days, Zion called the shelter home.

“He was adopted a few times, but it just wasn’t the right fit for him,” Palzer said.

In a crazy twist of fate, Zion has found his forever home with a very familiar family.

“Last week someone came over and called and said it was their dog,” Palzer said.

That person was Cherrie Terry, Zion’s first owner.

“He was a great dog, we raised him since he was a baby,” said Terry.

Terry and his family had been looking for Zion for three years after he was stolen from them in Miami.

“My mom called everywhere, everywhere,” said Terry. “At one point we just gave up and that’s when I started looking for a brand new dog.

This is what led Terry to the Gulf Coast Humane Society website after she and her family moved to Lehigh Acres.

“I saw it and I was like, ‘this looks exactly like my dog,’” she said.

They checked Zion’s microchip just to be sure and it was a match. And so, after three years apart – Zion is a little taller, older, and mysteriously missing a foot, and has finally returned home.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t crying because I think we all were,” Palzer said.

Palzer said this story is a reminder of how important it is to have your pets microchipped, so your pet can be safely returned if he ever goes missing.

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