Not every missing dog story ends up costing its owner over $60,000 in legal fees—a Maltese/Westie mix from Queens who went missing in May 2011 was found safe and sound this week more than 500 miles away in North Carolina. “I am in complete shock,” 26-year-old owner Jessica Ortiz told the News. “We had searched and searched for her. I had resigned myself to the fact that she was gone and was just hoping she was with a good family.”

Annie the pooch had been reported missing from her Corona home in May 2011; the little gal had escaped when Ortiz's 80-year-old grandmother was taking out the trash. She was found by a driver late Wednesday night in the middle of a highway in Liberty, N.C. The driver brought her to local rescue group, Happy Hills Animal Foundation, who checked for a microchip. They found Ortiz's information, and they didn't even have to bring in Bronksey to crack the case.

The group's vice president noted that Annie seemed in good health: “Annie is a sweet little thing,” said Lisa Sparks. “She’s nibbling at her food but she doesn’t seem upset. She is going with the flow.” The group is now working to get Annie back to Ortiz: “I am just overwhelmed with gratitude,” said Ortiz. “This reminds us of how wonderful people are.” And this is as good a reminder as any that you should get your pet microchipped ASAP if you haven't already; and if you have, maybe take them out for a nice treat for being such a good doggy and putting up with the heat.