Family looks for new dog, finds old one instead
Many pets got separated from their families almost two years ago, when Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast. A New Jersey family was one of them. They lost their dog, a terrier-pit bull mix. He escaped from their backyard during the storm.
Chuck James says that his family searched for the brown-and-white dog, named Reckless, for months after the October 2012 storm. But finally, they gave up hope.
"We reported him missing and called the shelters periodically, just hoping they had him," James said. "We always kept our hopes up, but eventually it's time to move on."
James said the family had planned in recent weeks to get a new dog. The dog was to be a 10th birthday surprise for their eldest daughter, Ally.
The family of five went to the Monmouth County SPCA to adopt a new animal. But when James and his wife approached the first cage, they saw a familiar face inside.
"He was a little bigger than I remembered because they had fed him well," James joked. "But then he was laying on my wife's feet, and I knew it was him. ... I was in disbelief. I know this dog is meant to be with our family."
When SPCA officials asked if they could prove the animal was their dog, a friend sent over a picture showing the family with their dog before Sandy hit the Jersey shore.
"We're all so happy to have him back," James said.
SPCA officials say Reckless was picked up as a stray and has now been microchipped.
The family is living in a hotel while their storm-damaged Keansburg home is repaired. This weekend, the Jameses went on a camping trip with Reckless to celebrate the dog's return.
Critical thinking challenge: Why is Reckless less likely to get lost again?