Family reunited with dog 8 years after it disappeared from home

A College Park family has been reunited with their Cavalier King Charles spaniel eight years after they say he was taken off their front porch.

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — A family thought they'd never see their dog again after it disappeared eight years ago.

But last week they got a call they never expected – their dog had been found and was at the nearby animal shelter.

The dog is much older now and has a lot of medical issues because it appears he was living outside. But he's now home with his family out of the cold weather just in time for the holidays.

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Bailey Lawrence told Channel 2’s Alyssa Hyman that she was about 5 years old when her dog King disappeared.

“I was in tears. I probably cried for weeks looking for him,” Bailey Lawrence said.

The family thinks King was taken off the front porch of their home in College Park.

"We went looking for him, we put up posters,” Bailey said.

Her father Brandon told Hyman they never filed a police report but were very suspicious since King was tied up.

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“I mean, after the first two or three (years) I thought he was gone or maybe he had died or hit by car or anything. We didn't know what might have happened,” Brandon Lawrence said.

The family eventually lost hope and thought they’d never see King again. That all changed last week.

An animal control officer got a call about a stray dog in College Park. Fulton County Animal Services took him in and checked for a chip.

“You could tell he had been an outside dog. You could just tell his skin was in bad shape and needed a grooming,” Brandon Lawrence said.

That microchip showed King belonged to the Lawrence family. That’s when they got a call they never thought they’d get.

“I said, ‘Bailey, do you know who that is?’” Brandon Lawrence said.

And after eight long years apart, Bailey opened the cage up and burst into tears as she and King were reunited once again.

Bailey is now 14 years old and King is now a frail 10 years old.

“It just brought up so many emotions. I was in shock,” Bailey Lawrence said.

“After eight years I had no idea … didn't even know he was alive. It’s very critical to keep your information updated,” Brandon Lawrence said.

While King was living on the street, he did have a collar and tag on him, and animal rescue did try the phone number.

But they told Hyman a chip proves ownership over a tag.