'Stolen' dog found in Colorado returns to Florida family 2 years later

Justin Chan

A "stolen" dog found in Colorado has finally been returned to her owners, who live nearly 2,000 miles away, according to the Associated Press

In May 2017, a German Shepherd named Cedar was allegedly taken from the Peterson family, who live in Southwest Ranches, Fla. At the time, Tamara Peterson said she believed someone hopped her backyard fence to steal the then 4-year-old canine, which was the youngest of the family's four dogs. 

The Petersons said they posted flyers with photos of Cedar in their town and hired a detective but were ultimately unsuccessful in tracking her down. 

However, three weeks ago, police officer Steve Ryan discovered Cedar in a ditch in the Colorado town of Hugo. The officer said the lost dog was suffering from malnutrition and an injured leg.

"She actually wouldn't get up, so I had to pick her up and put her in my car," Ryan told animal charity group Wings of Rescue. "She was wet [and] appeared to be malnourished."

Ryan took Cedar to Dr. Leesa McCue, a local veterinarian, who was able to identify the German Shepherd by accessing her microchip. McCue then notified the Petersons that their dog had been found.

"I immediately cried," Peterson told the Miami Herald. "I couldn't believe it. I was in shock. It's almost two years to the day." 

Following a three-week recovery, the German Shepherd returned home last Saturday, thanks to a coordinated effort by Wings of Rescue, the Broward County Humane Society and Cloud Nine Rescue Flights. Though Cedar is still trying to familiarize herself with her old home, the Peterson family said they hope to take her out swimming soon.

"We'll have a little homecoming pool party or whatever she wants," Peterson told the Herald. 

It remains unclear how Cedar ended up in Colorado. 

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