SEATTLE – A Siberian Husky that was stolen from a family’s backyard in Marysville last month was returned to its family Tuesday.
The thief who was caught on camera, however, still has not turned herself in.
Surveillance footage from the incident ten days ago showed a woman pulling the dog, Takoda, out of Ron and Colleen Smith's yard and pushing her into a mini-van which sped off. On the video, Takoda can be heard howling as she’s forced to cross the electric fence line that kept her in the yard.
The woman claimed she was rescuing the dog. After seeing the surveillance video of the theft on TV., the woman got an attorney and agreed to turn the dog over to police.
But Tuesday she didn't show up at the Marysville Police Department. Instead, a man dropped off Takoda. The Smiths wanted answers.
"Who are you?" Ron Smith demanded. It turns out the man worked for the suspect's attorney.
The Smiths noticed right away Takoda was not herself. She was shy, shaking, and had cuts and bumps on her face.
"Maybe their heart was in the right place, but they went about it the wrong way. And there are going to be repercussions," said Commander Rob Lamoureux.
Dog rescue groups say thefts like this are rare, but they happen. They chalk it up to the heavy emotions involved between humans and their pets.
"Emotions around animals run very high, very high, just like with children," said Judith Piper, who runs Old Dog Haven outside of Marysville. "People just decide they're going to fix things."
Piper says dog rescue groups have too much to lose to be a vigilante.
"I don't think a legitimate group would consider doing that," she said.
Back at home, Takoda started acting like her old self. The Smiths believe someone assumed she was being neglected because she's kept outside.
"She's more comfortable outside than inside," said Ron.
Outside she will stay, and the Smiths hope the dog-nappers learned their lesson.