A dog, stolen nearly six months ago in St. Paul, Minn., has been reunited with his guardian thanks to the efforts of one police officer who went above and beyond to help, reported Wednesday’s Twin Cities News.
In early February, the eight-year-old Labrador-shepherd mix named “Lightning,” was stolen from the home of Louis Christiansen.
Christiansen believed that a neighbor, who suffers with mental health issues, was behind the theft and he reported the crime to the authorities. Unfortunately, the case was not given high priority.
One officer, a dog lover himself, heard about what had happened and he took it upon himself to get involved.
Sgt. Doug Whittaker reached out to the family of the woman suspected of whisking Christiansen’s dog away. The woman was believed to be living as a transient, but it appeared that she was making a conscious effort to keep the dog’s whereabouts a secret.
On July 20, a break in the case came when the transient woman’s family called Whittaker and notified him that the woman was in Minneapolis with the dog.
Though off-duty at the time, Whittaker drove to the home and, after the family members’ initial dialogue with the woman, he spoke with her as well.
“It was a process,”
“It was a gentle process.”
Whittaker was ultimately successful in removing Lightning from the woman and loading him into his truck.
At first, he was not positive that he had the right dog, but that concern was laid to rest after Lightning was reunited with Christiansen.
Whittaker described the moment Lightning was once again with his guardian:
“The dog jumped into his arms and they rolled around on the ground. It was quite a happy reunion,”
“This truly is the most valuable thing in his life.”
Though the woman who had Lightning for so many months had limited means, the dog appeared to have been well cared for.
Lightning’s guardian chose not to press charges.
The case is closed
and it was a happy ending.
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