Little Candy is quite the traveller.
The 2-year-old purebred chihuahua has somehow managed the 200km trip from Avondale in Auckland to Whangarei in a bit more than six months - all on her own.
Whangarei SPCA inspectorate team leader Helen Sweeting said Candy was found by a member of the public at the Maunu Rd lights and dropped off at the SPCA yesterday.
"Luckily she was microchipped so we used the reader and discovered she was registered," Ms Sweeting said.
Candy was registered to Jamie Lyon, an Avondale resident who had reported her missing in July last year.
As soon as she heard from the SPCA, Mrs Lyon made the trip north from Auckland.
"When I got the call that she was up here, I couldn't quite believe it," she said.
Mrs Lyon admits Candy has always been a bit of a wanderer. Before she went missing last year she'd made a new home 10 houses down from the Lyon house in Avondale. The person who had taken her refused to give her back to the Lyons, until the local community constable got involved.
This time, however, Candy's disappearing act went on for a bit longer.
"It was horrible. My daughters were just so upset," Mrs Lyon said.
Ms Sweeting said it showed the importance of microchipping.
"Candy arrived here with no collar and no tags. The only way we could identify her was with her microchip," she said.
Ms Sweeting believed it was possible Candy had gone through several "owners" in order to get to Whangarei.
"It's not often you get such a happy ending as this."