Missing bull terrier Mon back with Belfast family after three years
A beloved pet dog has been found after being missing for a staggering three years.
Belfast man Eoin Markey said it was like a "bolt out of the blue" when he received news that his Stafforshire bull terrier Mon had been found after she escaped from his garden back in 2012.
The four-year-old pooch was found last week by workers at Yorkgate train station, to the delight of the Ardoyne man who thought he would never see her again.
The amazing discovery has been attributed to the fact that the terrier had been microchipped.
Veterinary charity PDSA said the microchip had been pivotal in reuniting the animal with its owner.
Eoin said he had tried in vain to find his dog three years ago, putting up posters and searching the local area, but Mon was nowhere to be seen.
"But wherever she was and whoever had kept her all that time took really good care of her," he said, after finding her in good condition.
"I'd only been talking about her last week and then a day later I got the call and a voice told me they had Mon."
He said though he thought he'd never lay eyes on the canine again, he never got another one to replace her.
"I couldn't believe it. I had to ask if they were sure it was Mon as she'd been missing for so long. It was a bolt out of the blue."
His long search was finally put to an end when the dog was found on the train track at Yorkgate station on May 20.
The railwaymen brought the creature to the PDSA's pet branch on Shore Road.
Veterinary nurse Gemma Vance said the chip had been key to finding the dog's owner.
"Mon was brought to us as a stray dog and so we scanned her for a microchip," she said.
"Much to our relief she had been chipped by her owner and we were able to check the database and find not only her owner's contact details, but also that she had been missing since 2012."
Gemma immediately picked up the phone to inform a shocked Eoin his dog was safe and well.
Eoin revealed the dog appeared to remember its devoted owner.
"I went in and called her and she came to me. The people thought that after so long she mightn't know me but they said she really seemed to know me," he said.
"We always wondered if she was still alive. Anyone who has lost a pet will know how heartbreaking it is."
Unlike the rest of the UK, microchipping is a legal requirement in Northern Ireland.