by Carlos E. Castañeda

PALO ALTO (CBS SF) — A Peninsula family has been reunited with their beloved pet more than two months after it disappeared, was found as a stray, and put up for adoption.

A post on the Palo Alto Animal Services’ Facebook page detailed what happened when a man came into the shelter looking to adopt a dog.

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The man, 40-year-old Luis Marquez, told staffers he was looking for a new dog to adopt for his young son. It turns out their dog disappeared in May after someone attempted to burglarize their home, breaking down their fence in the process.

Their dog Romeo escaped and was not seen again.

Around that time someone found a stray dog with no collar or ID and brought it to the shelter on East Bayshore Road in Palo Alto.

“We took in the dog as a stray and no one ever came to look for him, so we put him up for adoption,” said animal services Officer Cody McCartney. “He sat there waiting for a home for about two months.”

It wasn’t that Marquez had forgotten about him, said McCartney. “The owner of the dog searched every shelter around us, just not here.”

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A number of people showed interest in the dog that the shelter named ‘Huey,’ McCartney said, but no takers. Dogs at this shelter are not euthanized and are kept indefinitely.

Fast forward to July 15th and Marquez came into Palo Alto Animal Services to ask about adopting a dog. After looking through the kennels, he came back to the office and told staffers, “Uh … excuse me, I think you have my dog,” according to the Facebook post.

“He shows us a photo of Huey, aka Romeo, and we knew immediately it was his dog,” said McCartney.

Marquez told staffers he had only recently found out about the existence of the shelter and went there to adopt, only to find Romeo had been waiting for him there all along.

The staffers at the shelter were treated to the tail-wagging reunion. “The owner recognized the dog and it was likewise for the dog,” said McCartney.

The shelter said on its Facebook page that Romeo left microchipped and wearing a new collar with ID tag.


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Carlos E. Castañeda is Senior Editor, News & Social Media for CBS San Francisco and a San Francisco native. You can follow him on Twitter or send him an email.