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Dog stolen at Maple Heights gas station reunited with family

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 6:55 PM EDT
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MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - A dog stolen last week in Maple Heights is safe and sound Wednesday, back home with his family.

“We are just devastated,” Lizz Perry told 19 News just two days ago.

Perry’s dog Kota was in the backseat of a vehicle stolen back on Oct. 20 from the Sunoco at the corner of Warrensville Center and Rockside roads.

The car was recovered the following day, but Kota remained missing.

But the black miniature Goldendoodle remained missing.

That was until last night when Perry told 19 News a Maple Heights Police Department detective gave her the good news.

“The detective came on the phone and said ‘you know we do have to follow procedures’ and I said ‘yes I understand’. And he said ‘but do you think you could be here at 6 o’clock to pick up your dog?’ And I’m like ‘oh my gosh’” Perry said.

Dog inside car stolen from Maple Heights gas station found safe and sound
Dog inside car stolen from Maple Heights gas station found safe and sound(WOIO)

Perry said a very sweet family found Kota the same night he was snatched, about a block from the gas station he was taken from.

But, she said the family didn’t know, at first, who owned the pup, since Kota wasn’t wearing a collar at the time.

“They had seen the pictures posted and Channel 19′s spot on him,” Perry said. “We got there and they brought him in and I’m like ‘oh my God, it’s Kota, it’s really him!’”

Perry said that while her family was a mess every moment Kota was gone, the pup was living like he was on vacation.

“He was inside with people who were taking care of him. They were feeding him,” Perry said.

Police have not yet caught the person who stole Kota and Perry’s car, but the family said they’re ready to move on, with life finally getting back to normal and Kota settling back in at home.

“He had a bath, he’s been marking his territory in the backyard, doing all those things,” Perry said with a smile.

She also thanked everyone who played a role in helping bring their four-legged family member home.

“I would just like to thank everybody who prayed, everybody who reposted, everyone who called,” she said, mentioning the Maple Heights PD in particular for all the officers’ hard work during the week-long search.

“You want to give up, but don’t give up. Ask God for help, ask your friends for help. Have hope,” Perry said.

The family who found the pup was given the $500 reward that was being offered for Kota’s safe return.

The money was raised via GoFundMe and some of it was donated by strangers.

Dog inside car stolen from Maple Heights gas station found safe and sound
Dog inside car stolen from Maple Heights gas station found safe and sound(WOIO)

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