Dog Lost in Hurricane Sandy Miraculously Reunited With Owners 18 Months Later

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Photo: Monmouth County SPCA/Facebook

Reckless the dog disappeared a year and a half ago, through a broken front gate, right after the storm, his collar left hanging from the fence. Only last week were Chuck and Elicia James — who are still living in a hotel with their three children, having been displaced from their home because of damage done by Sandy — ready to replace him. Their oldest daughter's 10th birthday was coming up. "We never forgot about Reckless, but you have to move on eventually. We thought he was dead," Chuck told Intelligencer. But when they showed up at the Monmouth County SPCA in New Jersey, they saw a familiar face. 

"The adoption counselor brings in your first candidate and guess what," the shelter wrote in a very popular, you-won't-believe-what-happens-next Facebook post yesterday. "It's YOUR DOG!"

Imagine this:

Your family dog is lost during Hurricane Sandy. After searching and giving up hope, 1.5 years later you decide to adopt a dog. You head to the Monmouth County SPCA, meet with an adoption counselor and plan on meeting some dogs.

The adoption counselor brings in your first candidate and guess what; it’s YOUR DOG!

Lucas came to the Monmouth County SPCA in November and had been waiting for his forever family. Volunteers have even said he seemed like he was looking for someone. Now we know Lucas (who’s real name is Reckless) was searching for his family!

"I didn't know it was him right away. They fattened him up so much," said Chuck. "My wife said, 'That's our dog. That's Reckless.' We both got teary-eyed. The dog was licking us to death, he was jumping three feet in the air. He was home. He knew the ordeal was over."

The dog had only been with the SCPA since November, and no one knows where he was in between. "This is the reason why there are no-kill shelters out there. The whole family is just blessed," said Chuck. "It's like winning the lottery without buying the ticket."

This post has been updated throughout.