July 8 (UPI) -- A dog missing for four years was returned to its owners after it was found 50 miles away from home, an Ohio dog shelter staff said on Monday.
Workers at the Clark County Dog Shelter said they picked up Smiley on Saturday, as the dog ran loose on the streets of Columbus. A microchip embedded in the dog indicated its owners were in Springfield, two counties and 50 miles away. The microchip, an electrical device the size of a grain of rice, is inserted under the loose skin of an animal's neck, and can transmit identification and other data, including an owner's contact number.
It was unclear how the dog strayed so far from its home.
"We always push for dogs to have a microchip because it's such a great secondary tool for owners," said Kat Stewart, Clark County Dog Shelter manager said. "If the license falls off, at least they have a microchip in place in case their dog gets lost."
The owners kept the microchip information up to date, despite Smiley's absence. The dog and owners were reunited within three hours of the discovery of the microchip.