BELOIT, Wis. (WTVO) — A Beloit man now has a piece of him that was missing, back. He and his stolen dog reunited Thursday after 5 long years.

When Barney Lattimore lost his dog, Ginger, he says he felt distraught. “When I found out she was gone, it was just like pain, it was like when one of your children went missing,” he says.

Now, years later, those emotions are overtaken by happiness. He states, “I never gave up faith on her, I knew that we serve a good God, so I knew that one of these days I would reunite with her. I just didn’t think it would take 5 years.”

Lattimore recalls searching for Ginger as time passed with no luck, until earlier this month, when the Beloit Police Department posted about a stray dog.

“Beloit Police Department, when they had posted a flyer of her, of a dog that they found, I was like ‘that’s her’,” he says smiling.

According to the American Humane Society, each year approximately 10 million pets are lost in the United States. Many of those end up in animal shelters, which would have happened eventually with Ginger.

“On the last day before she became legally ours, we did receive a call from Barney, her owner, stating that he was scrolling through Facebook and seen (sic) a picture of a dog that looked very similar to her,” says Karly Harrison, an adoptions assistant supervisor with the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin.

It’s unknown where Ginger was over the years, but she was found in decent shape, according to Harrison. She says, “She definitely was a little chubby, so she looked like she’s been well taken care of, just not who she was supposed to be with.”

Harrison witnessed the reunion, adding it was hard to hold back tears. And for the rightful owner, his world felt complete again.

“When they let her out to see me, she ran straight to me and she was like ‘daddy, I’m home’,” Lattimore says.

Lattimore says he did get two French bulldogs to fill the void, and luckily Ginger gets along perfectly with her new siblings – picking up right where she left off once she got home.