She hired a plane and spent thousands looking for stolen dog. He finally appeared hundreds of miles away

·3 min read

Emilie Talermo exhausted all options to reunite with her beloved blue-eyed miniature Australian Shepherd, Jackson.

She even hired a plane to fly over San Francisco with a banner to the website she set up to find him.

And on Tuesday, after months apart, Talermo and Jackson were reunited after she got word he had turned up at a shelter hundreds of miles away outside Los Angeles. When the shelter sent pictures, she knew.

"As soon as I saw them, I burst into tears. It was him," Talermo told the Associated Press.

In December, Talermo, 31, had left Jackson tied to a bench as she went inside a grocery in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood, police said.

Detectives worked for months on the case, writing search warrants and examining surveillance video, police said in a news release.

In this photo provided by Emilie Talermo, she is shown after being reunited with her six-year-old dog Jackson in San Francisco, on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.
In this photo provided by Emilie Talermo, she is shown after being reunited with her six-year-old dog Jackson in San Francisco, on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

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Talermo wanted to help the search, too. She set up the website, made fliers of the now 6-year-old pup with bright blue eyes, offered a $7,000 reward ("no questions asked") and hired the plane to fly a banner with the website's name over the Bay Area.

According to KNTV, the plane cost $1,250 to fly, and Talermo had raised thousands via a GoFundMe. She also posted across social media platforms and set up a Tinder account for her dog.

"He's always with me. It's a very real love," Talermo told the TV station in December. "I just need help finding him."

San Francisco police said a key break in the case came when Jackson was spotted by community members in Los Angeles County.

Police were able to identify a suspect and make an arrest. Nicholas Bravo, 27, of Palmdale faces a felony grand theft charge. He was already in custody for an unrelated matter, police said.

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On Monday, detective were notified the dog had been brought into Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control in Palmdale. One of Talermo's friends in Santa Monica retrieved the dog, and a San Francisco police detective drove down to bring the dog home.

In a video posted on Twitter by the police department, Jackson barks in excitement and jumps into Talermo's arms as the pair was reunited in the early hours Tuesday.

The dog was in good spirits and appeared OK, Talermo said, though he was a little chunkier.

"I’ve only had him back for a handful of hours now, but I haven’t slept at all because I’m listening to his little noises and I’m just so happy," Talermo told KNTV. "I feel like everything is brighter again."

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow USA TODAY's Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lost dog stolen from San Francisco reunited with owner months later

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