Army veteran Kelly Accettola was reunited with her long lost dog on Saturday, more than six years after the dog was stolen from Accettola's backyard.
According to Gaston Gazette, Accettola flew from San Diego to Gastonia, North Carolina to reunite with her dog named "Bemis." Accettola lived near Norfolk, Virginia at the time, but has since relocated to San Diego.
Gastonia is roughly 300 miles from Norfolk. What happened from the night Bemis was stolen out of Accettola's backyard in 2011 to last December is unknown.
"I went out to the backyard to see what was going on and sure enough he wasn’t there,” she told the Gaston Gazette. “It was just like he vanished without a trace.”
To help pay for her travel and veterinarian bills, Accettola started a Go Fund Me page, which has raised $575. While Accettola got the green light from a veterinarian to fly Bemis back to California, Bemis is in need of $1,200 worth of dental work, she said.
Accettola said she got the news Bemis was found last week when she received a letter in the mail from an organization that tracks down pet owners using microchips. Accettola said she had tears in her eyes when she read the letter.
Accettola said a woman has been taking care of Bemis since December while the organization looked for Bemis' owner.
"You know, you hear these miracle stories about people who get their missing pets back after years apart and you think, 'That'll never happen to me,' but my God, it has," Accettola said.