SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Maltese dog missing for 10 months was reunited with its owner in North Park, thanks to an identifying microchip, animal services officials said Tuesday.

When Watson vanished, owner Jamee Lynn Smith became convinced that the Maltese had been stolen. She filed a police report, called Councilman Todd Gloria's office and searched her North Park neighborhood constantly, according to the county Animal Services Department.

A week ago Tuesday, San Diego police picked up a man in Linda Vista for a psychiatric evaluation and took from him a little white dog that turned out to be Watson, identified by county employs who scanned him and notified Smith.

"I got the call last Tuesday; it was breathtaking -- I didn't think I'd ever see him again," Smith said. "A microchip is really the best present you could ever get your pet."

Dawn Danielson, the Animal Services director, said "stories like these prove that a microchip can truly be your pet's ticket home."

A pit bull brought in last month was identified as belonging to Dawn Dowling of Baton Rouge, La., who drove to San Diego to pickup her dog.