Dog found abandoned in Colorado reunited with Florida family after 2017 theft

Dog found abandoned in Colorado reunited with Florida family after 2017 theft

SOUTHWEST RANCHES, Fla. — SOUTHWEST RANCHES, Fla. (AP) - A dog found abandoned in Colorado has been returned to its family, nearly two years after it was stolen in Florida as a puppy.

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, animal charity organization Wings of Rescue said. The pet was identified, thanks to its microchip.

"Miracles do happen - especially when you microchip your pet(s)!" Wings of Rescue wrote on its Facebook page.

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.

Posted by Wings of Rescue on Friday, April 19, 2019

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."

Wings of Rescue is proud to play a role in Cedar’s journey home. As a 4 month old puppy, She was stolen from her home in Florida 2 years ago. She was found by a heroic Hugo Colorado Marshall in a ditch, covered in snow with an injured leg and taken to his ho e for care. A microchip was found and today Wings of Rescue’s Cathi Perez flew in to drive her 7 hours to Kansas City so Cedar can board tomorrow’s Wings of Rescue/Cloud Nine Rescue Flights partnership flight to reunite with her beyond excited family! Miracles do happen - especially when you microchip your pet(s)! Please help us pay for Cedar’s flight home by donating at www,wingsofrescue,.org/donate.

Posted by Wings of Rescue on Friday, April 19, 2019

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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