Family at animal shelter spot the dog missing since storm

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A family whose dog escaped from their garden during Superstorm Sandy went to an animal shelter this week to adopt a new pet and came home with their old hound.

Chuck James said his family searched for the brown-and-white terrier-pit bull mix named Reckless for months after the October 2012 storm before finally giving up hope.

“We reported him missing and called the shelters periodically, just hoping they had him,” Mr James said. “We always kept our hopes up, but eventually it’s time to move on.”

He said the New Jersey family had planned in recent weeks to get a new dog as a 10th birthday surprise for their eldest daughter, Ally.

But when the family of five went to the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to adopt a new animal, they approached the first cage and saw a familiar face inside.

“He was a little bigger than I remembered because they had fed him well,” Mr 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 the pet before Sandy hit the Jersey shore. “We’re all so happy to have him back,” Mr James said.