A northwest side woman has her dog back, more than seven months after it was stolen from her condominium.
Rita Hines' pomeranian-poodle mix named Madge was taken from her condo on Feb. 18, when burglars forced their way in by removing a screen.
In the days and weeks after the dog was stolen, Hines passed out fliers to veterinarian offices throughout the city and visited animal shelters in the hopes of finding Madge. She eventually gave up and adopted another dog.
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Then, earlier this week, her phone rang.
"I got a call from this vet and she said, 'We have your dog,' and I said, 'Well, my dog is in the house,' " Hines said. "And they said, 'No, she's here. They found her near one of the motels on Stringtown Road and brought her in.' "
A man from Florida found the dog and planned to take it back home with him, but first he went to the vet's office to have it examined. That's when the vet found the dog's microchip and identified Hines as the owner.
"Oh I missed her," Hines said. "She's my girl."
Hines said the dog has been readjusting to being home.
"At first she slept in corners and kind of hid. Maybe she was used to being outside and stuff," she said.
As a show of thanks, Hines gave the man who found Madge another dog from a shelter. She also encouraged other dog owners to have their pets micro-chipped.
The procedure can be done at most vet offices.
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March 5, 2010: Woman Asks Burglars To Return Stolen Puppy