Missing Florida dog found in New Jersey 3 years later

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PATTERSON, N.J. — A missing dog from Florida was reunited with her owner after turning up in New Jersey three years later.

Bella, a Maltese pomeranian mix, went missing from owner Bill Gerstein’s law office in December 2013.

“I thought that we would never, ever see each other again,” Gerstein told WCBS.

New Jersey resident Ashley Abregu found Bella wandering around near her home with knotted fur and covered in dirt.

“I found her by herself rolling in dirt near my house so I took her with me and she was just a sweetheart. I wanted to keep her until we found the owners but unfortunately where I live there is a no pet policy,” Abregu said.

“She looked as if whoever took her was not taking good care of her, she was very knotty and dirty.”

Abregu took her to an animal shelter in New Jersey where Bella’s microchip implant helped them get in contact with Gerstein last week.

Gerstein was on the first flight to New Jersey to be reunited with his long-lost pet.

“She was wagging her tail, she was shaking uncontrollably for about 10 minutes. It was a really, really nice reunion,” Gerstein told WCBS.

“She was a bit shaken, but she’s right back in the swing of things now. She recognized everyone, and now the kids fight over whose bed she will sleep in.”

Gerstein calls it a Thanksgiving miracle.