Man finally reunited with dog more than two years after it was stolen

A Central Florida man was reunited with his dog after she was stolen years before.

Patrick Bartee said his parents were caring for Zoe when she ran off at a store two and a half years ago.

"Zoe saw some kids, and she jumped out. She loves children. She jumped out and ran to the children," he said. "My parents are older. By the time they got to where she was, she was gone."

Bartee said they searched, but she was gone.

"We searched that place for hours and hours and hours. We had friends, family, fraternity brothers," he said.

He searched for a year and even considered replacing her, but couldn't.

"Almost a month ago I was looking at getting another dog, but I just couldn’t. I couldn't do it," he said.

Sunday, Patrick got a stunning phone call from the South East Volusia Humane Society that Zoe had been found.

"I thought it was a joke I couldn’t believe what they said," he said. "They said we have Zoe Sarah."

The humane society believes someone found Zoe after she went missing and then sold her off to another family.

"The people paid for the animal and then they got evicted and somewhere through the eviction process they left this dog behind," said Linda Sackman, who works with the organization.

Zoe's microchip led them to Bartee.

"When they brought her in, I just said Zoe Sarah. Her tail started wagging. She jumped out of the lady’s arms, ran to me and jumped into my arms," he said.

"Those are some of the flagship stories about how these things work," Sackman said.

The organization is using the reunion as a reminder to pet owners of the importance of microchipping.

"The microchip is under the skin so it is, in fact, a tag that they never shake off," Sackman said.

Bartee says Zoe got a much-needed haircut, saying she arrived looking like a different dog.

"She was matted and her hair was just everywhere," Bartee said.

She's now back home with her dad making up for lost time.

"This is my baby, this is my baby," he said. "She comforts me because I’m a throat cancer survivor."