A missing bulldog has been reunited with his owner after being found 500km from home, nearly a year after he went missing.
Bruizah was believed stolen from Lower Hutt in January and was found by dog control officers in Hamilton on Friday, living with another family.
Hamilton City Council's animal education and control manager Susan Stanford said they found his owner because Bruizah had been microchipped.
The animal control team drove Bruizah to Waiouru over the weekend to rendezvous with owner Rea Williams, who had driven up from Lower Hutt.
Ms Standford said it was great to be able to reunite the two, because people's pets were important to them.
Rea Williams was overwhelmed when she received the call to say her dog was found.
"I knew as soon as I got the phone call that they had found my dog. I never lost hope.
"I have taken him for a walk and he remembered which driveway to walk up. He's acting like he never left," Ms Williams said.
The people in Hamilton who were found with Bruizah said they bought him off Facebook, Ms Standford said.
When buying a dog off Facebook or Trademe, buyers must ask for the dog's registration and microchip details to confirm the seller was the actual owner, she said.
"You can then phone your local council and ask if there are any alerts for the animal. If the seller is reluctant to give you these details be aware they may not be the legitimate owner of the dog."