A St. Albert woman has been reunited with her dog who had been missing for more than four years.

The dog was returned to an Edmonton shelter last week, and is now recovering from some serious injuries.

When Kathryn Morrow learned her dog Grif had been found, she couldn’t believe it.

“I couldn’t even contain myself; I was the definition of hysterical,” Morrow told CTV News.

Morrow alleges her dog was stolen on New Year’s Eve four years ago. Last week, 10-year-old Grif was brought to the Animal Care and Control Centre (ACCC) in Edmonton. He was sick, in distress, and badly injured.

“She had an elastic band tied around her head and her ear, and it had severed her ear about two thirds of the way off,” Morrow said.

ACCC staff said bringing lost animals to their centre can ensure more successful reunions with pets and their owners – adding that finding an animal and keeping it is illegal.

As for the circumstances leading up to Grif’s surrender, staff say that remains unclear.

Spokesperson Keith Scott explained the people who dropped Grif off “weren't giving really good information as to where the dog was found. They didn't want to give their names and numbers, so that's the kind of stuff that really, you wonder about if they actually found it, or what happened.”

While Grif wasn’t tattooed or microchipped, social media helped bring her home.

“I never gave up hope, but recently I started to tell myself it was unrealistic that she was coming back,” Morrow said.

Grif has been home for just over a week and is still a bit shy, but healing well. Morrow is now hoping her sisters dog J.J. who disappeared that same night, will turn up soon too.

“Just don't give up hope. You never know when you're going to have a little miracle around the corner,” Morrow said.

Morrow has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Grif’s recovery, a reward should J.J. be safely returned, and a local animal rescue organization.