An Auckland dog owner who had given up hope of ever seeing his puppy again has had the surprise of his life.
A year ago, Karu Hori's dog, Kauri, a staffy cross, went missing from his home in suburban Panmure.
Last week, she turned up at Te Hapara School in Gisborne.
The animal pound was called and a quick scan of her microchip showed she had an owner - but he lived about 500km away.
Mr Hori says he was in a state of total surprise when he received a phone call from the Gisborne District Council's animal control acting team leader, John Gordon.
"We had feared the worst and had given up hope after the first six months. I thought she was long gone. Of all the places for Kauri to turn up - but I guess that is the advantage of having a microchip."
Kauri had originally escaped from Mr Hori's property aged 2 months, after his wife accidentally left the gate open.
"We tried to find her, but obviously someone had picked her up. I have no animosity towards them. I would just like to get on with raising my dog."
Mr Hori expressed "a big thank-you" to Gisborne animal control and to Connie Taingahue, a Gisborne woman who will drive Kauri to Auckland this weekend.
Said Ms Taingahue: "I was heading to Auckland anyway. I have had dogs stolen and I never got them back but it does not mean I cannot help someone else.
"I know the feeling Karu has gone through. I just think about the dog's eyes and the owner's smile and that will make me happy."
Mr Gordon is holding Kauri at the Gisborne pound until Ms Taingahue picks her up on Friday.
"We do not know how she got here - we just scanned her and lo and behold she was microchipped, but not to anyone local," said Mr Gordon.
Kauri was in good health and did not appear to have been taken for any sinister reasons, he said.
"Because she is microchipped and has not been scanned, I suspect she was taken.
"However, whoever had her has kept her fed. She does not appear to be any worse for wear and she certainly does not act or look like she is either. She is very friendly."
Mr Gordon said no one from Gisborne had reported her missing.
"We think Kauri may be in pup, too, so when Karu gets her back, he may be getting more than one dog."
- Gisborne Herald