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Stolen dog reunited with guardian 8 years later

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Earlier this month, a reunion, eight years in the making, took place in Phoenix, Ariz., between a dog who had been stolen and her original family, reported Friday's AZ Central News.

Reporter Robert Anglen with the Arizona Republic first caught wind of the incredible tale on a GoFundMe page set up by LaShena Harris, owner of the stolen dog whose name is "Fatcat." On the fundraising site, Harris described how the English bulldog was stolen eight years ago from her yard in Memphis, Tennessee - she wrote:

I took her to a local groomer, and 3 weeks later for another groom.

While she was being groomed I purchased her a new collar so upon our return home I placed her in my backyard and ran in the house to grab it (3 mins to be exact)....I came outside and there I saw a truck speeding off.....Fatcat was GONE.

Someone from the groomer had set me up.

Fatcat's family notified the police and searched the area, to no avail, and after nearly a year, they moved from Tennessee to Arizona, believing that their dog was gone forever. Fast forward to last week when Harris received a stunning phone cal from her mother, who had received a phone call from an animal shelter in Arkansas - Fatcat had been found, and thanks to an implanted microchip, the facility was able to reach out to her family.

When Harris lost the pup, she feared that the dog would be mistreated - she wrote:

I prayed that whoever took her would take care of her and wouldn't kill her trying to breed her

Unfortunately, her fears were realized - whoever took the young dog took advantage of the fact that she had not yet been spayed and bred her multiple times. Harris described the now elderly dog's condition:

she's in bad shape, mostly due to negligence - she has heart-worm disease, cataract, her teeth are bad, she's been excessively bred, her, she has lumps in her breast and her tail is in bad shape.

Fatcat's poor physical condition meant that she could not fly, but a rescuer who lived in the area where the elderly dog was found happened to be relocating to Scottsdale and they offered to take Fatcat on a cross-country road trip back to her guardian.

Kerry Sneed, who is the director of the Arkansas facility where Fatcat was dropped off, commented on the series of events which made Fatcat's reunion with her family a reality:

There's no doubt that dog is a miracle,

Whoever had used and neglected the dog apparently turned her out onto the street after she was no longer a productive breeding dog - a man found her and took her home for a short period of time, but decided that her medical issues were beyond his means so he surrendered her to the Arkansas animal control.

Fatcat is safely back home - her guardian, a single mom who is still trying to raise the funds for Fatcat's veterinary expenses, wrote words of gratitude on the fundraising site:

How do you show gratitude to someone you've never met? A complete stranger, yet someone you will forever be indebted to and will never forget? Even if I don't have FatCat home for as long (in terms of her entire lifespan), I feel like the luckiest person in the world right now, I'm just glad she's finally HOME.

Read more at this link to GoFundMe.

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