SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Champ the 2-year-old husky is back at his Sacramento home.

It took nearly a year for that to happen.

He disappeared in April. Officials say he was likely stolen. Somehow he ended up nearly 300 miles away in Bakersfield.

We were there as his owner, Shaunta Lowman, gave him a big bear hug.

“Where you been? I was waiting for you,” Shaunta said as she cried.

She’s not sure exactly how he got to Bakersfield, but because he was microchipped, she got that phone call she never gave up on.

Shaunta tells us, “He’s been gone for so long, but I never stopped givin’ up hope.”

That hope was restored, in large part, thanks to a group of strangers who make up a nationwide Husky Rescue Organization.

Champ’s owner says she thanks everyone who helped.

“They were complete strangers; literally all of them were complete strangers to me, and they helped me get my dog back home.”

Strangers who arranged for drivers to bring Champ back every step of the way.

And now Champ is stepping in familiar territory, his Sacramento front yard.