Stolen Dog Reunited With Overjoyed Owners, Thanks to 13 Police Officers

“They surprised us at my daughter’s 10th birthday party," the dog's owner said.

ByABC News
June 28, 2016, 4:10 PM

— -- One lucky puppy named Petey is home with his family, thanks to the excellent detective work of 13 Fort Worth, Texas, police officers.

The officers did such a good job sleuthing out the criminals who stole the 4-month-old Collie/Heeler mix directly from his home that they’re being honored today in a ceremony with the mayor.

“The suspects went into their house and stole a bunch of stuff -- electronics and jewelry and the dog,” Officer Daniel Segura, the police department’s public information officer, told ABC News. “The detectives and officers were looking out for the stolen property for anything to have a lead to catch the suspects.

“The officers went to a pawn shop and they found a few items that belonged to the family that had been pawned,” he added. “So they followed up on their leads to see who pawned it and got a search warrant and went to the house, and when they went to the house, as soon as the occupants opened up the door, they saw the rest of the stolen items inside the house. And the dog was inside the house, too. That’s how they were able to catch the suspects.”

In order to surprise the family with their beloved Petey’s return, the officers kept that news a secret over the phone and instead told them they had to ask a few more follow-up questions.

“They surprised us at my daughter’s 10th birthday party. We had no idea,” the puppy’s owner, Julia Templeton, recalled. “They called and asked where we were and they showed up. I couldn’t believe it. I really thought they were just coming to show me some pictures of some of the material things that were taken. I walked out and saw his head poke out from the bar on the police car.”

The touching video of the family’s joyous reunion with their stolen dog has pulled on the internet’s heartstrings today after it was posted on Fort Worth Police Department’s social media channels.

Although the dog was initially stolen on May 7 and returned on May 20, Segura said they posted the video today in celebration of the officers getting recognized by Fort Worth City Council and Mayor Betsy Price.

“Detectives do amazing work every single day but this specific case caught the mayor’s eye,” he explained.

“We just thought it was incredible police and detective work for something that could have been a pretty minor incident, but was important to us of course,” Templeton added. “They really didn’t give up and tracked down the people who did this to return our dog.”

The entire Templeton family -- Julia, husband Rand, children Ava, Lyla and Ruby, and of course, Petey -- are all attending the ceremony today.