-- A Houston woman says she is one of the increasing number of dog owners who have found their missing pups for sale on Craigslist.
Kara Lowe told ABC News her Yorkshire terrier, Sushi, ran away last December through a hole in the fence around her home.
"She snuck out from that way and then it just, you know, she kind of ran into the wrong hands," Lowe said of the 11-year-old dog.
A few weeks after Sushi disappeared, Lowe says she saw an ad on Craigslist offering a dog for sale that she says looked identical to Sushi.
Lowe says an initial attempt to confront the Craigslist seller failed. Seven months later, the ad featuring the same dog re-appeared, so Lowe says she and a friend – armed with a microchip reader -- went to check it out last Friday.
While the dog looked slightly different, Lowe paid the seller $250 for the dog.
According to Lowe, the microchip reader brought along by her friend, Kathy Vasquez, proved her suspicion correct. The dog was Sushi.
"I finally, very slowly, realized, oh my gosh, this is really Sushi," Vasquez recalled. "I said, 'Kara, this is your dog.'"
Dog theft is not uncommon. Nearly 350 dogs have been stolen so far this year, according to the American Kennel Club's National Pet Theft Database.
Experts say the first thing dog owners should do if they think their dog has been taken is to check ads online.
Owners should also always make sure their dogs are microchipped so they may be identified later on.