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Florida Man's Missing Dog Found In New Jersey Nearly 3 Years Later

PATTERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Bella the Maltese-Pomeranian mix has returned home nearly three years after she disappeared from her owner's Fort Lauderdale workplace.

Bella went missing nearly three years ago from Bill Gerstein's officer in Delray Beach, Florida, WCBS 880's Kelly Waldron reported.

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"I thought that we would never, ever see each other again," Gerstein said.

But this past Tuesday, Gerstein received an email from the Patterson Animal shelter, saying that Bella was been found, thanks to her microchip implant.

Gerstein immediately booked a flight to New Jersey so he could be reunited with his long-lost pet.

"She was wagging her tail, she was shaking uncontrollably for about ten minutes. It was a really, really nice reunion," Gerstein said.

He says a family in New Jersey cared for her for about nine months before she ran away and ended up in the shelter. But he has no idea how Bella got to New Jersey.

For now, Gerstein is calling the reunion a Thanksgiving miracle that has become a story the Gerstein family will tell for years.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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