A Newaygo County family got an unexpected call from the Kent County Animal Shelter this week telling them they had found their missing dog.

The call was unexpected because the dog was gone for more than two years.

Dillon, the pet beagle always had a tendency for sneaking off, but the last time he left, the North family figured he was gone for good.
Now, their beagle is back. It just took him a few years to find his way home.

There is no shortage of affection for Dillon. Wagging his tail non stop, it’s quite clear this beagle is happy to be home, though it’s a surprise reunion. “I thought he was dead. He’s been gone so long,” said pet owner Rachal North.

The North’s put up flyers when Dillon slipped out of his collar. He’s been gone two and a half years.

Dillon wandered off from his home in Grant in Newaygo County in August of 2004. He was picked up Tuesday in Solon Township near Cedar Springs.

“I got a call from the Kent County Animal Shelter, and they told me that they had my dog, and I said ‘what?’ Then they said ‘Dillon!’ and I said ‘what?’ I said ‘are you sure?’ and they said ‘yeah he has a microchip,’ and I said ‘yeah!”

The Kent County Animal Shelter drove Dillon back to their facility. They located Rachal North after finding and RFID microchip in the dog.
“It’s about the size of a rice grain and it’s embedded between the shoulder blades and the back,” Matt Pepper, an Animal Control Supervisor demonstrated how the chip works. A device reads the chip that is in the animal and reads an id number. That number is entered into a data base and brings up the contact information of the animal’s owner.

The chip implanted in Dillon is how officials located Rachal North. Once she arrived and called his name, Dillon responded immediately. “He was wagging his tail and he was ready to go he was like “whoooa!” said North.

“It’s just a wonderful ending and shows the importance of having a microchip in your animal,” said Pepper.

No one knows where Dillon was while he was gone, but Rachal North says he looks healthy and doubts he was on the streets, “I’m assuming someone took him in and I am grateful that they did,” said North.

Though Dillon has to get used to some new faces at his old home, he seems to be settling in just fine.