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SAN DIEGO — Ricardo Dominguez was stunned when he got the phone call last Friday.

His dog, Brownie, had been picked up by San Diego County Animal Services in Otay Mesa.

Three years ago, Dominguez left the then 4-year old lab with workers at his ranch while attending a meeting. When he came back, Brownie was missing.

“They told me he got stolen, I was what do you mean stolen, it hurt me and broke my heart, not only is he my best friend, he’s like one of my kids,” said Dominguez.

Somehow the dog traveled from Santa Teresa, New Mexico to San Diego. That’s a 720-mile trek.

After Brownie was picked up, Animal Services scanned him and found an implated chip that identified him and his owner back in  New Mexico.

“Microchips are in many cases a ticket home. If this dog didn’t have a microchip, this dog would’ve never made it back to his owner,” said Dan DeSousa of County Animal Services.