After the late-season post-tropical cyclone known as Hurricane Sandy swept through the East Coast in late October 2012, a New Jersey family believed their terrier-pit bull mix was lost forever.
Miraculously, in a turn of events that could only be described as fate, they found their dog Reckless at the Monmouth County SPCA.
It wasn’t just a miracle that their paths happened to cross, but that the dog even survived at all. The storm brought with it winds of 80 mph, streets were flooded, and trees and power lines were knocked down.
According to The Associated Press, Chuck James and his family searched endlessly for the pooch for months after the storm, but had since given up.
“We reported him missing and called the shelters periodically, just hoping they had him,” James said. “We always kept our hopes up, but eventually it’s time to move on.”
So, as a surprise birthday present for their 10-year-old daughter Ally, they decided to get a new dog. And that’s when they were emotionally reunited with a familiar face.
Upon entering the shelter and approaching the first cage, Reckless was there waiting.
“He was a little bigger than I remembered because they had fed him well,” James said jokingly. “But then he was laying on my wife’s feet, and I knew it was him. … I was in disbelief. I know this dog is meant to be with our family. We’re all so happy to have him back. Thank God for no-kill shelters because every time they kill an animal, it’s somebody’s friend who might be lost. Thank God they didn’t put him down because this would have been a different story.”
SPCA officials reported that Reckless was picked up as a stray and has since been microchipped.