A DETERMINED family were left in 'utter disbelief' after they were reunited with their beloved pet dog six years after she went missing.

Sprocker spaniel Fern went missing from the Ferrier family's home in Kingston-upon-Thames in April 2013.

The family, who have since moved away from the area, had had Fern microchipped and kept their information up-to-date.

READ MORE: School enjoys gift of dog visit

The family, who have since moved away from the area, had had Fern microchipped and kept their information up-to-date.

This meant that when Fern was handed into Twyford Veterinary Practice in London Road, Reading, staff were able to contact her owners immediately.

"Utter disbelief was my reaction," said mother-of-three Jodie Ferrier.

"Although I had waited for so long to get that call I couldn't dare to believe it was real.

"Once I accepted this was happening I just broke down in floods of happy tears."

Speaking about the moment she was finally reunited with Fern, she said: "When the door opened and she walked out she went to walk past me - but a smell or something she recognised caught her attention and doubled back a few steps.

"Once she was sure she knew me her little tail just went crazy with excitement."

The family have been praised for keeping their details refreshed on Petlog.

Jodie added: "We never gave up hope.

"There were times that the disappointment of checking dogs that weren't her took its toll and you begin to feel the day will never come.

"Throughout the six years I maintained that it only needed to be right once and Wednesday was my day!"

Linda Sayer was working at the practice that evening (July 3) when the member of the public found Fern in Bracknell.

She said: "Someone found her in Bracknell and brought her here to us because he is a client here.

"I stayed here and got in touch with Petlog, who told me that she had been missing for six years.

"I was able to get hold of her owners who immediately made their way over to us.

"Myself and my colleague Danielle both stayed late at work to make sure she was ok.

"It was an emotional rollercoaster for the family - they were sensible for keeping their Petlog up-to-date."

Speaking about how Fern has settled back into the family home since her return, Jodie said: "She has been much in demand the last 48 hours and we are so happy to take part in all the media coverage to stress the importance of microchipping, keeping details current and vets and organisations to routinely scan.

"She's made firm friends with our other dog Gus who came to our family whilst she was away.

"She loves the children and is happy to take poll position on the sofa!

"The best piece of advice I can offer is to make sure all pets are microchipped.

"It is law now but sadly all to often this is not happening.

"Register that chip as soon as you get home and keep those details current when you move house or change numbers.

"Lastly, when you visit the vet, the groomer, a dog show or anywhere a trained scanner user is, get your chip checked to make sure it's functioning properly.

"If this was done routinely there may be many more lost and stolen animals being reunited if perhaps they have been sold on to new families."