Family reunites with lost dog nearly 1 year after he went missing in Merced County

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A Merced County family who had given up hope they’d find their lost dog ended up reuniting with him this week — nearly one year after he went missing, police said.

Rocky the white Maltese went missing from the Merced home in early January this year.

“The devastated family looked far and wide and had given up hope after being unable to find the white Maltese,” the Gustine Police Department said.

But their luck turned when Animal Control Officer Vicki Staten spotted the dog in Gustine on Monday. And after finding a chip, she was able to get the family’s information and reach out to them.

“The family was in shock thinking he was gone forever,” police said. “Today Rocky went home with a very happy Maldonado family.”

Authorities said looking for a chip is standard practice and were thankful the family had spent extra to get one.

Police shared video of the family’s reunion with their beloved dog, who was happily wagging his tail at the sight of his owners.

“Kudos to our Animal Control Officer Vicki Staten for reuniting ‘Rocky’ with his family after almost a year of being on the lamb,” police wrote.

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