Valley family reunites with stolen dog

FRESNO, Calif.

Buddy the Yorkie loves being the center of attention, these days, he'll take all the petting he can get after being separated from his family for two years.

Back in 2010, Lupe bought Buddy as a gift for his girlfriend Brittany. The couple had him for six months when the pint sized pup disappeared from Britany's Merced County home.

"Before you know it, he was gone and he would never just run away. So we knew something was up," said Britany Sapien. "We looked everywhere."

The family was heartbroken, always looking twice when they saw a Yorkie. Then two years later, a phone call out of the blue from Reno, Nevada changed everything.

Britany Sapien described the call, "Is this Britany Sapien, we have your dog Buddy and I'm like huh? Buddy?"

When animal officials in Reno found Buddy, they found out that he had a microchip. They discovered not only was he a lost dog, but he belonged to a family in Planada, California more than 250 miles away.

That weekend, the family left the Central Valley to reunite with their long lost friend.

"He got excited, he remembered us," said Lupe Diaz. "He started shaking and panting."

So how did Buddy get to Reno? Animal officials say it appears he was stolen and sold to someone living there. But the proof was the information linked to the microchip.

Britany's mom, Martha Mayo-Garza said, "Again don't give up hope and its changed my belief in the chip. It's very important to do that."

The family says although Buddy's looks have changed during the past two years, their bond is the same and now they're looking forward to having him at home again.

"To actually have him in our arms again," said Martha Mayo-Garza. "It was just wow, this is great. We found him and he's here and we're actually all together again."

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