After three years, Ayana Kelly was reunited with her pooch Gucci thanks to a microchip.
The American pit bull terrier disappeared in 2013 from their San Antonio, Texas, yard just two weeks before the family was set to move back to Virginia.
“We were devastated,” Kelly said. “We really felt like we left a family member behind.”
The mother of four was sure someone had taken the family dog they adopted in 2011, but couldn’t go through with adopting a new dog in Gucci’s place because it just wasn’t the same.
“It was a long, depressing feeling, like an empty void you just can’t fill,” she said.
The void was filled two weeks ago when Kelly’s husband, Gary, received a call from a San Antonio animal shelter that had Gucci. They were able to track the family down because of the microchip implanted in the dog.
Kelly was right about one thing, Gucci appeared to have been taken by someone who didn’t have the best interest in caring for a dog.
“From the looks of him, somebody may have used him for breeding or he was being abused,” said Wendy Perry, who works with the Rhode Island-based animal rescue group For the Love of Paws R.I. Rescue and Transport, and traveled more than 1,500 miles with Gucci to reunite him with the Kellys.
Despite the trauma he may have endured, Gucci couldn’t have been happier to be with the family he loves again.
“He’s the same big baby,” Gary said. “It’s like one of my kids came home.”
Perry credits the microchip with saving Gucci’s life. Now the dog provides comfort for his adopted mom, Ayana, who’s been battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma since August.
Just three days after finding out Gucci was coming home, Ayana’s doctors informed her that she’s in remission.
(Photos: Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)