Authorities in Yuba County, Calif., said a woman was working with her dogs in the Spenceville Wildlife area last week when she found what looked like a stray American Staffordshire terrier, KCRA-TV reported.
According to the TV station, the woman took the dog in for the night and then drove it to the Yuba County Animal Care Services shelter.
Sheriff’s deputies told KCRA that employees at the animal shelter scanned the dog for a microchip, and one was located linking the female dog to the Chancellor Veterinarian Clinic in Virginia.
A call to the Virginia clinic confirmed that the chip was registered to an American Staffordshire terrier, and the owner of the dog was identified as Kristen Pruitt, of Virginia.
According to KCRA, Pruitt was contacted and told shelter authorities that her dog, Petunia, went missing from the family farm around Thanksgiving of 2003.
The shelter sent a photo of the dog to Pruitt, who said she was positive the dog was Petunia.
Shelter officials told the TV station that they are working with Pruitt to make sure Petunia makes a speedy return home for the holidays.