STOUGHTON, Mass. — A dog stolen 11 years ago was reunited with his owner Wednesday after being found wandering on a Stoughton street.
Marzena Niejadlik was emotional at Stoughton Police Department as she embraced Rex, who was a few months old when he disappeared.
“It’s hard to believe. You eventually have less and less hope with every year,” Niejadlik said. “That’s amazing. That’s really something we were really hoping will happen one day and finally it did. We had to wait a lot, but that’s amazing.”
The Yorkie had slipped out the door of Niejadlik’s former home in Dorchester more than a decade ago and was snatched up off the street, she said.
Niejadlik said she filed a police report and searched for Rex, posting flyers and offering a reward.
But Niejadlik never saw Rex again until Wednesday, when Stoughton Animal Control Officer Michelle Carlos responded to a call about a small dog wandering on Record Street.
Carlos picked up the animal and scanned his microchip, revealing Niejadlik was his owner.
“She was in disbelief. She was like, ‘Wait a minute. My Rex?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, he’s here,’” Carlos said. “I got chills after the call. I was like, wow, this is amazing.”
Rex was skinny, hungry and in need of a bath. But he was otherwise healthy.
Niejadlik, who has since started a family and settled in Quincy, brought Rex home and introduced him to her nine-year-old twins, who had only seen pictures and heard stories about the pup.
Gabriel had been listening in on his mom’s phone call with police.
“I peeked in asked if it was Rex,” Gabriel said. “I got a nod, and I instantly knew. And I told Victoria.”
“It was very exciting to have him back,” Victoria added, “especially that it was a long time. I wasn’t even alive. Two years before I was alive.”
Rex, who was a birthday gift to Niejadlik’s mom after Niejadlik’s brother died, disappeared when the family was grieving. Now, two months after the loss of Niejadlik’s other brother, Rex is home again.
“We got him after the first tragedy, and now he’s back after the second one to help us deal with this loss,” Niejadlik said.
Stoughton police said the happy homecoming highlights the importance of microchipping pets.
“Most of the time, they don’t have a chip, which is sad, because they can’t tell where they live or where they came from,” Carlos said of lost and stolen pets. “I highly stress everyone get their pets microchipped.”
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