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Cleveland dog missing and believed stolen reunited with owner after 5 days

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 11:43 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Just one station has the heartwarming reunion between a missing dog and his family.

A 3-year-old Australian Shepherd that was once missing is now found and reunited with his owner.

But that owner questions why no one called a phone number clearly printed on the dog tag until police were notified, and a surveillance photo appeared on social media.

Mike Potts told 19 News, “It was so heavy on my heart, literally. I hadn’t eaten or barely slept.”

That’s because Potts dog Jackson went missing on Cleveland’s east side, right before the snowstorm began Friday.

Jackson went out of his doggie door and entered the backyard of a home on Elks not far from E. 105th and St. Clair in Cleveland.

After more than 10 minutes, Potts said he knew something was wrong.

“I canvassed this area and went down all of these local streets until midnight, calling out Jackson’s name,” Potts said.

The next day the Cleveland man posted more than 1,000 missing posters and posted all over social media, offering a $1,000 reward for information about Jackson and his whereabouts.

That’s when a woman who worked at Little Caesar’s at St. Clair and East 105th dished up information that Jackson may not have just been missing, but stolen, by a man she said was a Door Dash driver.

These images captured on Dollar General’s surveillance cameras helped Potts to file a report and get the police involved.

“In 2022, you cannot hide from social media or the news. Like once you’re out there somebody’s got you,” Potts said.

Then, 19 News featured the surveillance video online on Tuesday that showed a stranger with Jackson on a leash, five days after Jackson went missing. That’s when the man suspected of having Jackson, finally called the phone number that was visible on his dog tag all along.

Potts said, “I think they got caught and realized it and they made the call, I think there back was up against the wall when they saw themselves on social media and on the news.”

Jackson was reunited with his human Wednesday morning and was simply having a ball, and it’s clear from the wagging of his tail and entire backside there’s no place like home for man’s best friend.

The majority of the $1,000 reward went to the pizza shop employee who provided the initial tip on what happened to Jackson.

Potts was thankful to have Jackson back he even gave a few hundred dollars to the man who found his dog, took him, and eventually returned him.

Cleveland Police are investigating and will determine if charges will be filed.

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