Dog missing from Delray Beach for 3 years returns from New Jersey

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — A dog has been returned to his owner in Delray Beach after going missing for years and winding up in another corner of the country.

Three years ago, Bill Gerstein brought his dog Bella with him to work in Fort Lauderdale and let her outside. Gerstein said he got distracted, and when he went outside, Bella was gone.

“We searched. We put up signs. We were at this place up ’til 2 in the morning,” Gerstein said.

As the months turned into years, Gerstein lost hope. Then, last Tuesday, he received an email from an animal shelter in New Jersey that had Bella.

“Within 10 minutes I booked a flight on Spirit, my wife drove me to Fort Lauderdale Airport, and I was on my way,” he said.

Bella had a micro chip, which allowed the shelter to find out who her owner was.

Cellphone video captured the reunion.

“Oh, you’re shaking,” Gerstein is heard saying in the video.

“She was shaking uncontrollably for about 10 minutes,” he said. “I think she was in shock, just couldn’t believe that we were reunited.”

Gerstein knows a family cared for the Maltese Pomeranian mix over the past nine months, before she ran away and wound up at the shelter.

They still have no idea how she made it to New Jersey.

“I wish that they talked,” Gerstein said. “I wish that she was wearing a GoPro or something like that because she has some story to tell.”

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