Woman Drives 1,000 Miles to Pick up Pitbull Missing for More Than 8 Years

A Florida dog has been miraculously found and reunited with his owner eight years after going missing.

Harley the pitbull managed to escape from his family's home in 2014, when he mischievously ran out of the backyard while on a bathroom break. He was just a few years old and despite his family keeping up their hopes, he wasn't spotted again.

"I turned them out to go to the bathroom and turned my back for a second and they went off into the woods and we went looking and never found Harley," owner Betsy Dehaan told KY3.

"We searched and posted missing pet posters. We never stopped looking," she added.

After a while, however, the search brought nothing back. Until this week, when Dehaan received a text, now living over 1,000 miles away.

Angie Bray had found Harley, looking malnourished. "The dog was so sweet and behaved. He [Harley] seemed as happy as he could be," Bray told KY3.

Harley was found in San Carlos Park on Barto Boulevard by Bray and a friend, who with the help of police, helped track down his rightful owner. According to reports, he was found with overgrown nails and he was "really skinny."

"I am so happy that my team helped reunite this family with their dog after 8 long years!" said Sheriff Carmine Marceno in a statement. "Our partners with Lee County Domestic Animal Services do a great job helping my Animal Cruelty Task Force protect those that cannot protect themselves."

Bray took Harley to the Cypress Lake Animal Hospital and Lee County Domestic Animal Services, where they found his owner's cell phone number through the scanned microchip.

Dehaan said she initially believed the text was a scam, as it was so out of the blue. "We got the text on Saturday. And I was like, is this a scam? We were just talking about him that morning," she told KY3.

In the eight years since Harley went missing, Dehaan had moved away from Lee County to Missouri, but that didn't stop her getting her four-legged friend back. Deehan drove over 1,000 miles to collect him.

Earlier this year, a missing dog was found 12 years later after being dumped at a rural property in Stockton, California. The dog was found by an animal control officer, who assumed the pooch was a stray.

A scan of the microchip however discovered that the dog had been reported missing in 2010 and had even been classed as "deceased" by the microchip company.

Newsweek has contacted Lee County Domestic Animal Services for comment.

A file photo of a pitbull. A Florida dog has been miraculously found and reunited with his owner eight years after going missing. Getty Images