SAN DIEGO -- A dog that went missing five years ago and turned up in San Diego County traveled to Kansas City Wednesday to be reunited with its owner, a military veteran, according to the county Department of Animal Services.
Before Jessica Gutierrez deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, she arranged for her sister in Clovis, New Mexico, to take care of the now-7-year-old poodle named Cookies Chanel. While Jessica was overseas, the dog went missing.
According to Animal Services, Cookies Chanel was picked up as a stray May 18 in a shopping area in Spring Valley and taken to the animal shelter in Bonita. The canine had a microchip identifying Jessica as the owner.
Cookies Chanel was flown to Kansas City, where Gutierrez lives.
"I got a text saying 'we found your dog' and it was just amazing," Gutierrez said moments after being reunited with Cookie at the airport.
County animal services officials have been pushing for several years for microchips to be implanted in pets to make it easier to identify their owners when they're picked up. They've publicized several incidents in which pets were located after being missing for a long time, or from far away.
The county's shelters in Bonita, Carlsbad and San Diego offer microchipping clinics every Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. The $10 fee includes registration.