-- Years of heartache turned to joy Monday night when a dog owner was happily reunited with her pet pug after unknown assailants snatched him off his leash in front of a supermarket five years ago.
"When we could see her coming down the escalator, I said, 'Is that your Mommy?'" said Giovanna Carabella, who brought the pair together again. "His tail started wagging and he started squealing. He couldn’t wait to get out of my arms.
"She held him and he started licking her face and she was crying. It was just amazing.
Carabella, a private investigator who helps with animals, told ABC News a man found Tyson the pug roaming the streets Aug. 19 and brought him to her the next day.
"The man, who didn’t want to be named, brought him to me because he knows I do pug rescue," she said. "I didn’t realize he belonged to someone. I called the authorities and took him to the vet to see if he had a microchip or a tattoo."
Through her own investigations, she soon realized that the dog had been stolen from his owner, Justine Holmlund, in October 2010.
Holmlund said, "I tied him up outside of a Safeway [supermarket] for a few minutes while I ran into use the ATM machine. After his abduction, I had posted posters throughout the city with a $3,000 reward. He meant the world to me."
Afrer Tyson's abduction, Holmlund said, she never lost hope, putting all her energy into trying to track him down.
"I also got a hold of the Safeway security department, which I watched the surveillance video of him being stolen," she added.
The video, Carabella said, revealed two males and a female exiting a van.
They were then seen in the footage petting the dog before removing him off his collar and driving away with him.
Five years later, Holmlund received a Facebook message from Carabella, whom she'd never met before, informing her that Tyson had been found.
"On August 24, 2015 the Airdrie RCMP detachment officers were made aware of a found dog in the Crossfield area, north of Calgary, Alberta, Canada," the Royal Canadian Mountain Police said in a statement. "The dog had been reported stolen in Calgary in 2010. It was retrieved and is now with its original owner.
"The Airdrie RCMP is working with the Calgary Police Services and this matter remains under investigation."
Carabella and Holmlund met at the Calgary Airport Monday night where Tyson was reunited with his beloved owner.
"She was so thankful she was in tears to get Tyson," Carabella said. “She was very, very grateful. Five years later, who knew that this pup would come across my direction. I picked him up, not sure who he belonged to, and I was going to do whatever I could to find the owner."