Dog re­united with Florida fam­ily 2 years af­ter theft

The Tribune (SLO) - - Espresso -

SOUTH­WEST RANCHES, FLA.

A dog found aban­doned in Colorado has been re­turned to its fam­ily, nearly two years af­ter it was stolen in Florida as a puppy.

An­i­mal char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tion Wings of Res­cue says the Ger­man Shep­herd named Cedar was cov­ered with snow in a ru­ral Colorado ditch, ap­par­ently mal­nour­ished with an in­jured leg when a deputy mar­shal found her. The pet was iden­ti­fied thanks to its mi­crochip.

The youngest of four dogs in the Peter­son fam­ily, Cedar was stolen from their back­yard in May 2017 in the town of South­west Ranches, north of Mi­ami. At the time, other signs for miss­ing pets were go­ing up around the com­mu­nity.

Back then, Ta­mara Peter­son told re­porters that she thought some­one had hopped the fence to take the 4-month-old puppy. The fam­ily posted fly­ers with Cedar’s pho­tos around the town, drove around sev­eral neigh­bor­hoods and hired a de­tec­tive to track the pet down.

It was not clear how the dog wound up nearly 2,000 miles away in the Colorado town of Hugo. Deputy Mar­shal Steve Ryan found Cedar in a ditch and picked the dog up to put it in his car.

When Ryan took the dog to a vet­eri­nar­ian, she scanned the pet for a mi­crochip and found out the puppy be­longed in South Florida. Then the Peter­sons got a phone call.

“I im­me­di­ately cried,” Ta­mara Peter­son told The Mi­ami Her­ald. “I couldn’t be­lieve it. I was in shock. It’s al­most two years to the day.”

Af­ter three weeks of re­cov­ery, Wings of Res­cue, a char­ity known for fly­ing pets in dis­as­ter zones, helped ar­range Cedar’s re­turn flight on Satur­day. The Peter­son kids pet­ted Cedar’s furry chest and neck on a Fort Laud­erdale air­port tar­mac as the dog looked around and shook its body.

“Miracles do hap­pen, es­pe­cially when you mi­crochip your pet,” the an­i­mal char­ity wrote on a Facebook post about Cedar.

Peter­son said Cedar has been rest­ing, and the fam­ily is plan­ning to take her out swim­ming as soon as she looks bet­ter.

CHERIE WACHTER AP

With pi­lot Ted DuPuis look­ing on at left, Chloe, sec­ond from left, Doug and Chase Peter­son greet their long-lost Ger­man shep­herd, Cedar, on Satur­day at Fort Laud­erdale Ex­ec­u­tive Air­port in Florida. Cedar was stolen in Florida as a puppy nearly two years ago and re­cently found aban­doned and cov­ered with snow in a ru­ral Colorado ditch.

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