A beagle named Roscoe who was missing from his home in Wichita, Kansas, for eight long years was reunited with his family last month after he was located more than 1,000 miles away.
“When he got out of the van the morning he came home, he came wagging his tail right to me,” his owner Nicolle Leon, 41, told Fox News Digital.
“I brought him inside and my kids [had] just woken up. He was all over them wagging his tail with such excitement. I wasn’t sure if he really would remember us — but the way he acted, I think he does.”
Roscoe went missing in early 2015 when he was just a year old, not long after Leon got the puppy as a gift for her kids, Alani and Alex, who were 8 and 5 years old at the time, she said.
The family was not home at the time — and when they returned, Roscoe was gone.
“There were no signs of him getting out or holes dug under the fence,” Leon said.
“I always had a feeling someone stole him or someone found him and kept him — and whoever had him knew he was missing or stolen,” she added.
“He was microchipped and I never, ever got a call once after all these years.”
Leon said she called her local Humane Society and animal shelter and posted fliers, but Roscoe never turned up and her kids were heartbroken over the puppy’s loss.
The family continued to talk about him for years, even as recently as a few weeks before he was located, Leon said.
Amazing turn of events
That’s where the story takes a sharp turn. Exactly 1,033 miles northwest to the town of Caldwell, Idaho, animal lovers Katherine Miller and Shae DeBerry crossed paths with Roscoe.
DeBerry is administrator of the Lost & Found Pets of Caldwell’s Facebook account on which Roscoe’s photos were posted.
Miller is an animal advocate and volunteer. She’d recently been issued a microchip scanner in order to help identify lost pets in her area.
“Many of us are in rescue and have purchased [microchip scanners] to help because there is a need,” DeBerry said.
“Animals are found after hours when shelters are closed, and there is literally nowhere for them to go if animal control is not on duty,” she added.
Leon said she was traveling in Texas for work when she received a late-night phone call from someone saying they had found her dog.
“I was asleep and initially thought one of my [other] dogs [might] have gotten out since I was away for work,” Leon said.
“But after talking to her and not recognizing the address, and then when she said she was in Idaho, I said, ‘Oh, that’s not my dog. I live in Kansas,’” Leon recalled.
But just to be sure, Leon asked the woman what kind of dog it was — and she said it was a beagle.
“Then I immediately knew it was my missing dog,” Leon said.
It was a local Caldwell woman who found Roscoe and posted his photo on the Caldwell Facebook page.
Katherine Miller reached out to the woman after seeing the Facebook post. Roscoe was then scanned; and Miller and DeBerry contacted the microchip company — which gave them the Leon family’s information, DeBerry said.
“It was also a ‘wow’ moment because Roscoe was the first animal for Katherine to scan, and he’d been missing for most of his life,” DeBerry said.
Roscoe was brought to the West Valley Humane Society Animal Shelter in Caldwell to await pickup.
“At that point, I was in contact with Nicolle [Leon] to have her fill out a form, so I could claim him on her behalf,” DeBerry said.
“I think Roscoe was very sad and confused about all the changes when I picked him up. He was probably wondering where his owner was — whoever had him all this time. He was shy and definitely not the happy boy Nicolle [Leon] and her family have at home now,” DeBerry added.
As much as Leon wanted to get Roscoe back, she first had one important question for DeBerry.
“I said, ‘Look, if he’s been with a good family and been taken care of, I don’t want to take that away from them,’” Leon said.
“‘But if no one comes forward and is claiming him, then I can’t leave him knowing how much [time] we have spent looking for him,’” she also said.
But no one posted or called the Humane Society saying they were looking for their missing dog — so Leon arranged for Roscoe to travel home to Kansas on Jan. 13 by way of a transport driver.
Leon said it means a lot to her that two total strangers took the time and effort to reunite her with her missing dog.
“Without Katherine and Shae, I may not have been able to get him home safe,” Leon said.
Leon said she speaks to both Miller and DeBerry almost daily now. The three women are planning to meet someday.
“We’re already talking about it,” Leon said. “There are such good people out there in this world making a big difference. My kids and I are genuinely grateful for them both.”
Leon said that ever since he’s been back home, Roscoe’s been getting plenty of attention.
“There’s no lack of love happening in our house,” she added. “Roscoe is spoiled and we are giving him all the love.”
Roscoe has even made fast friends with the Leon family’s other two dogs, which joined the family after Roscoe vanished eight years ago.
Leon’s kids still can’t believe Roscoe is back in their lives.
“I was about eight when Roscoe disappeared,” Alani Leon, now 17, told Fox News Digital.
“I just remember not having our friend anymore, and I was upset,” she added. “I’m still in disbelief that he’s here with us again.”
After his epic adventure, Roscoe now seems content to stay home, Leon said.
“I’ve taken him out with me to the front when I take the trash bin out or get the mail, and he stays right next to me,” Leon said.
The family has wondered how Roscoe traveled so far away from home and what he might have been doing all that time.
“I wish he could talk so bad and tell us his story,” Leon said. “We asked him, but he won’t tell us.”
The family is now focused on Roscoe’s future
“Not knowing his past life and how his last eight years have been is hard, but knowing we can give him the best for the rest of his life is great,” Alani Leon said.
DeBerry said she is satisfied with Roscoe’s happy ending.
“It’s an amazing feeling to know one post gave a family so much happiness,” DeBerry said. “Katherine and I both feel grateful we were a part of it.”
As a volunteer who sees many lost animals in just her city alone, DeBerry said her advice to pet owners is to microchip their animal, as pet theft is “more and more common.”
“Places like Petco’s Vetco or Vet IQ, local veterinary offices and microchipping events will microchip for as little as $35 — and it’s a lifetime-free registration,” DeBerry said.
“You have to keep your information current and thankfully Nicolle did that.”
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.