A dog stolen in Louisiana more than three years, is being reunited with its ecstatic Louisiana family today.

Sam, is a Yorkshire Terrier that was brought in as a stray by an Animal Control Officer on April 14th. Sam was in fair condition but weighed only five-and-a-half pounds. Thankfully, Sam has a microchip, which allowed Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control to contact his family in Louisiana the next day. To say they were thrilled would be an understatement.

After determining that the family could use some assistance getting the dog back to good health and home to Louisiana, Animal Care and Control went to work. Personnel made arrangements for veterinary care and medical treatment for skin issues. A local veterinarian then determined Sam was ready to go home. United Airlines made arrangements to fly Sam and Animal Control Program Specialist, Michelle Johnson (in photos), first class from the Eastern Iowa Airport to Louis Armstrong New Orleans National Airport this morning.

Sam's family will be waiting for him. He was given as a gift to the family's 10-year-old daughter, before being stolen from their yard three years ago. The family searched, put up lost dog postings, notices and advertisements, to no avail. The daughter, now 15, has never lost hope that Sam would come home. Today he will.

Greg Buelow, Cedar Rapids Public Safety Communications Coordinator