updated 10/31/2008 3:44:33 AM ET 2008-10-31T07:44:33

A Maltese dog named Max is headed home to Florida after he was spotted in Chicago — 1,000 miles from where he vanished.

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Richard Gonzalez reported a pet theft after Max disappeared several months ago from his daughter's yard in Brandon, Fla.

Gonzalez said he thought that Max would never get far. But the pooch was identified in Chicago by an implanted microchip.

Gonzalez contacted the Northcentral Maltese Rescue to retrieve Max. Rescue director Mary Palmer had the dog taken to Racine, Wis., and he will be flown Saturday to Florida.

Gonzalez said he has no idea how his dog got so far away. He says he was so thrilled about the find that he almost asked Palmer to put Max on the phone.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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