05/05/2014 08:20 am ET Updated May 05, 2014

Family Who Lost Dog In Superstorm Sandy Gets Huge Surprise At Adoption Shelter

New Jersey couple Chuck and Elicia James were devastated when they lost their terrier-pit bull mix, Reckless, during Hurricane Sandy. A year and a half after the storm, they decided to adopt another dog. When they went to a local animal shelter to find a new addition for their family, they got the surprise of a lifetime.

The first dog they were introduced to at the Monmouth County SPCA bore a striking resemblance to Reckless.

"Literally when we opened the double doors, the first cage we walk up to I thought 'that looks like Reckless,'" Chuck James told the Asbury Park Press. "He was a little heavier and it’s been a little while, but then my wife saw the scar on his head and immediately we start tearing up and we found our dog."

The dog escaped through a hole in the fence at their Keansburg, N.J., home in October 2012, according to the APP. He had an identification collar on and the family searched for months, but to no avail. Finally, they found him on Thursday, May 1.

The animal shelter posted the amazing news on its Facebook page.

Reckless, was who was renamed Lucas, was picked up by the SPCA in Monmouth County, according to the New York Daily News. He was not microchipped.

"If Reckless had been microchipped, we could have reunited him with his family much sooner," Jerry Rosenthal, president and CEO of the animal shelter, told CNN. "We love happy endings. I always tell people our goal is to prevent animals from coming into the shelter except when we can get them back to their original owners."

Reckless made it home just in time for their eldest daughter Ally's 10th birthday.



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