According to a report by Lusa, no one knows what happened to the animal during the time it was missing or how it made its way to the village in the district of Bragança, only that it was the fact that it had an identification chip, and that someone thought to check it, that allowed the dog to finally be returned to its owners.

"We prayed every day for him to come home", said Tina Riley, the owner of Scruffy, who saw her prayers answered on 19 October, when a lady called her to ask if the dog was hers.

The family immediately wanted to travel from Cabeceiras de Basto to Carrazeda de Ansiães, but it was too late, so the reunion took place the following morning, 110 kilometres from home, in the village of Pinhal do Norte, in Carrazeda de Ansiães.

Tina Riley lives in an isolated location, near Cabeceiras de Basto, and didn’t know how the dog disappeared from the family property. She told Lusa that she was not sure if Scruffy had been taken by someone or had become lost – only that Scruffy had been missing since January.

How Scruffy appeared more than a hundred kilometres from home is a mystery that remains to be solved.

The animal appeared a few days ago near the Trás-os-Montes village of Pinhal do Norte, and was taken in by a family from the area.

The local association ALDEIAVERDE was key to reuniting Scruffy with his owner and is already used to the abandonment of animals in this area, as the village is located next to the IC5, the road that connects Porto and Bragança.

On associations Facebook page they wrote about the amazing luck of Scruffy who hit the “canine jackpot”

“Ten months after being stolen, or somehow removed from his house in Cabeceiras de Basto, Scruffy was reunited with his owners!

“Scruffy appeared in the village of Pinhal do Norte / Carrazeda de Ansiães, 110 km from his house. We don't know what happened and we'll never know, but one factor in this reunion was THE CHIP!”

The association added: “We were informed about the presence of the dog (which had already been collected by a family), went to check for the existence of a chip and... Scruffy and his owners hit the canine jackpot!”

“The moral of the story: Chip in your animals ALWAYS!!!”