“I was in tears," Bailey said. "I probably cried for weeks looking for him.”
Bailey's family said they think King was taken off the front porch of their home in College Park. Her father, Brandon Lawrence, told WSB-TV the family never filed a police report about King's disappearance, but he said they were suspicious because King was tied up before he vanished.
“I mean, after the first two or three years, I thought that he was gone or maybe it died or got hit by a car," Brandon Lawrence said. “We didn’t know what might have happened.”
The family eventually lost hope, but that all changed last week after an animal control officer got a call about a stray dog in College Park. Fulton County Animal Services took in the dog, who had skin and other medical issues because he’d apparently been living outside, officials said. When they checked for a microchip, they determined the dog was the Lawrence family’s long-lost pet.
Bailey burst into tears when she saw King, who is now 10 years old, Brandon Lawrence said.
“It just brought up so many emotions," Bailey said. "I was in shock.”
Brandon Lawrence told WSB-TV the incident showed the importance of keeping contact information updated. Officials said King had a collar and a tag on him and that animal rescue personnel tried to call the number on the tag. However, they told WSB-TV the microchip proved King belonged to the Lawrence family over the household listed on his tag.
The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.