It’s always heartbreaking when a dog goes missing, but it’s important to not lose hope: sometimes owners are reunited with their dogs months or even years after they went missing.

That was the case recently, as one family reunited with a dog who went missing over five years ago!

Brian Gilpatrick, from Rayton, Missouri, was the owner of Jack Russell Terrier mix named Little Buddy, whom he adopted from a rescue in 2017, according to KMBC.

But the family was left heartbroken when, about five years ago, the little dog disappeared from their home.

“It’s been so long,” Gilpatrick told the outlet. “We must not have secured the doggie door good enough.”

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The family never forgot about Buddy, but as years passed they assumed he was gone for good.

But fast forward nearly six years, when Raytown animal control picked up a stray and brought him to Midwest Animal Rescue.

The rescue noticed that the little dog had a microchip, and were able to identify his owners — and were shocked to find he had been missing for over five years.

They reached out to Gilpatrick and his family, and set up a reunion years in the making. “Over the years they’ve never forgotten about Little Buddy, and never given up hope!” the rescue wrote on Facebook.

“To be able to have a happy ending like this makes all the difference in the world,” Erin Morse of Midwest Animal Rescue told KMBC.

It’s not clear where Little Buddy has been all this time. The rescue said that he appeared to be well-cared for.

The shelter said the story was a reminder to get your pets microchipped, as that is what led to this reunion and so many others like it.

“Just never would have expected after this many years that that microchip would lead to Little Buddy coming home,” Gilpatrick said.

We’re so glad Little Buddy is finally home! Remember to get your pets microchipped so they can be returned to you even years after they go missing!

Please share this sweet story! ❤️

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