A central Florida man was finally reunited with his dog Zoe that disappeared two and a half years ago, WOFL-TV reports.

Patrick Bartee's parents were dogsitting Zoe when she ran off at a store.

“Zoe saw some kids, and she jumped out. She loves children. She jumped out and ran to the children,” he said. “My parents are older. By the time they got to where she was, she was gone.”

Though they conducted an extensive search, they were unable to find her.

“We searched that place for hours and hours and hours. We had friends, family, fraternity brothers,” he told WOFL.

On Sunday, two years later, Bartee received an unexpected phone call from the Southeast Volusia Humane Society. They had Zoe who, luckily, had been microchipped.

“I thought it was a joke. I couldn’t believe what they said,” he said. “They said we have Zoe Sarah.”

The humane society believes that after Zoe was sold she went missing.

“The people paid for the animal and then they got evicted and somewhere through the eviction process they left this dog behind,” Linda Sackman, who works with Southeast Volusia Humane Society, told WOFL.

The organization wants to use stories such as this one to impress upon pet owners the importance of microchipping.

“The microchip is under the skin, so it is, in fact, a tag that [you pet can] never shake off,” Sackman said.

Bartee is elated to have his furbaby back.

“This is my baby, this is my baby,” he said. “She comforts me because I’m a throat cancer survivor.”

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