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New Jersey family reunited with dog in Tampa years after it went missing

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Posted at 10:19 PM, Jan 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-01 22:19:14-05

TAMPA, Fl.-- A New Jersey family is overjoyed after reuniting with their dog, missing for several years, after it was turned in as a stray dog to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay this holiday season.

Veronica Bonilla said they got their dog, Leeann, as a Christmas present in 2009. But after a move from New York to New Jersey in 2016, she said Leeann got out of the backyard.

"Because we only lived there for a month she didn’t really know the neighborhood," Bonilla said.

She said they worked tirelessly to reunite with her, and Bonilla made sure to update her microchip information each year. Then last week, Bonilla said they got the notification she had been found.

"I couldn’t believe it. I took the phone to my husband and I’m like am I reading this right?" she said.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay said Leeann was dropped off as a stray dog Dec. 23rd.

Bonilla booked a flight immediately and was reunited with Leeann Monday.

"That was amazing, amazing," she said.

Video of the reunion shows Leeann running to Bonilla.

She's still not sure how the dog wound up hundreds of miles away.

"I wish she could talk to tell me what it was but I do not know," Bonilla said.

Now both are back home, happy to be whole again and planning a spa day for Leeann.

"It's like she never left," Bonilla said.