PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- A dog has been reunited with its owner after being missing for several years, all thanks to a microchip.
Five years ago, Chenel the dog somehow got loose and wandered away from her home. The family searched for her for years, and eventually lost hope. They said they were still in shock that she's back home, where she belongs.
"I was literally driving down the streets at night when I got off work, yelling her name, looking in people's backyards, trying to find her," said Philip Fecteau. He did that for weeks after his black lab went missing.
Fecteau said he rescued Chenel when she was just 10 months old. Five years ago, when he came home after a day of work at the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, Chenel was gone.
"It's kind of strange," said Fecteau. "I have two other dogs, they were still on the property. I'm assuming I was leaving for work and I didn't take her, and she wanted to follow me. I don't know."
Fecteau also made a Facebook post on Chenel, but with no lock. Although Fecteau never lost hope, he never expected to get the news he got last week, when a group by the name of "Animal Lovers of Laveen" found Chenel in a park not far from where she went missing five years ago. Chenel's chip was scanned, and members of the group got in touch with Fecteau.
"I was assuming the worst had happened, because I never heard anything, but as soon as I heard 'black lab', I knew automatically it was her," said Fecteau.
Since the reunion, Chenel won't leave Fecteau's side, and Fecteau is not complaining. The pup sleeps with Fecteau's daughter at night, and is enjoying plenty of belly rubs, just like she used to.
"I'm just happy to have her back, and she's healthy and the kids love her," said Fecteau. "The family is complete again."
It is believed that whomever found Chenel first never had her scanned to find an owner. Fecteau wants to remind people to always update chip information, and keep pet registration up to date. Fecteau also said if you find a lost pet, you can take it to animal care and control or a vet, and they'll scan for a chip.