"He is definitely someone's tortoise as he likes people and head pats," the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post.
The refuge also posted about the tortoise on social media and soon received a flood of tips from members of the public about a sulcata tortoise that had been reported missing in the same area in April 2020.
"She was missing for 3 1/2 years and found 5 miles away from where she originally escaped," the refuge said.
The tortoise was returned to her surprised and grateful owners.
"She is in a little bit of rough shape from spending so many cold winters here without heat, but she will be OK, and we recommended a trip to the vet," the refuge said.