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Dog Missing For Over A Year Returned To NJ Owners

RARITAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS 2) -- When a New Jersey family's dog went missing, they never gave up hope. The search stretched to a year and a half – and then came a miracle.

"It's better than winning the lottery," Daphne Longbothum said.

Longbothum and fellow owner Beth Dolan have been lavishing their dog, Dublin, with affection to make up for an excruciating absensce.

"When you lose an animal, a little piece of your heart goes with it," Longbothum said.

The five-year-old cockapoo was likely stolen right out of the backyard.

"She had a collar; she was obviously somebody's dog," Longbothum said.

"We went up and down putting fliers in every mailbox, talking to everyone," Dolan said.

After all the months of misery, one phone call last month brought sudden joy.

Dublin was in an animal hospital 30 miles away in South Plainfield, brought in by a woman who said she saw the dog running loose and then get hit by a van.

Miraculously, the dog was not hurt – and thankfully, the veterinarian checked the dog's chip.

"She had no injuries whatsoever," Dolan said.

"It was the happiest day of my life," Longbothum said.

There was still one big question left – where was Dublin for that year and a half? A little detective work on the computer revealed the answer.

On Craigslist, a woman posted an ad for a lost dog. When Beth and Daphne called the woman who posted it, she told them a stranger sold Dublin to her more than one year ago.

"Obviously she took great care of Dublin in the time that she was with her," Dolan said. "It makes you believe, 'don't ever lose hope, because amazing things happen.'"

Dolan and Longbothum say miracles do happen, and their story is a great example of microchips at work.

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