Miraculously a family from New Jersey went to visit an animal shelter this week to adopt a new pet and ended up coming home with their old dog. The family lost their terrier-pit bull mix when he escaped from their backyard during the days of Hurricane Sandy. The owner, Chuck James, told the Associated Press that he and his family searched for their canine named Reckless for months after the storm before they finally gave up hope. This was back in October of 2012 for those who can’t remember when Sandy hit.
“We reported him missing and called the shelters periodically, just hoping they had him,” James said. “We always kept our hopes up, but eventually it was time to move on.”
The father explained that the family had recently planned to get a new dog as a surprise for their eldest daughter Ally’s upcoming 10th birthday. When the family visited the Monmouth County SPCA Thursday to adopt a new animal, James and his wife went up to the first cage and, to their surprise, saw a very familiar face inside it: Reckless!
“He was a little bigger than I remembered because they had fed him well,” 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 the family to show proof he was indeed their dog, a friend sent over a photo of the family with Reckless before Hurricane Sandy hit.
“We’re all so happy to have him back,” James said. “Thank God for no-kill shelters because every time they kill an animal, it’s somebody’s friend who might be lost. Thank God they didn’t put him down because this would have been a different story.”
According to SPCA officials, the rescued dog was picked up as a stray and has now been microchipped. The James family is currently living in a hotel while their home being repaired from the storm-caused damage. This past weekend they went on a camping trip with Reckless to celebrate his return.
Photo by Mark R. Sullivan/AP