CHANDLER, Ariz. — A reunion, 12 weeks in the making, made possible Friday afternoon.
Leah, a Belgian Malinois, was stolen on March 23rd along with 10 other dogs from a Chandler home and was found more than 120 miles away.
Her owner, Jeanine Nesvik was at work when she got the call from the microchip company that her one-year-old pet had been found, abandoned on a baseball field in Prescott by a police dispatcher.
“I was so relieved,” Nesvik said after getting the call. “She said that she was very skinny, that she reeked.”
The dispatcher went out of her way and drove halfway to Phoenix to make the reunion possible.
In a video of the reunion, Leah stood on two legs and hugged Nesvik. The pair cuddled and embraced each other for several minutes, vividly full of emotion.
“I just can’t imagine what she went through, but I’m so happy she is finally home,” Nesvik said. “We missed out on training and lots of fun and opportunities but at least we got more time now.”
11 dogs stolen from Chandler home
On March 23rd, National Puppy Day, Nasvik came home to find her 11 dogs, eight of who were fosters, missing.
According to Chandler police, someone broke in possibly through the back gate from an alleyway behind the home.
Neighbors said a white van might have been in the area. The thief or thieves didn’t take anything from the home but the dogs.
About one month after the theft, Nesvik was reunited with four of the 11 missing dogs. A woman posted on social media about finding the animals distressed and wandering near a dog park in Countryside Park in Mesa.
“They were very malnourished. Skin and bones showing. Two of them had bad infections,” Nesvikld told 12 News at the time.
Leah is overall in good health but lost most of all her muscles and will need to regain some weight, Nesvik said.
An avalanche of support
Since the dogs went missing, Nesvik said she received an avalanche of support from all across the Valley.
People helped by sharing her posters or even making their own, as the news spread of their stolen pets.
“Thank you to everyone that has shared and prayed and helped,” Nesvik said. “I’m beyond grateful for all of the support. Spreading the word, I think is the biggest thing that helped get these dogs back. Keeping the pressure that so many eyes and people were looking for them.”
Two puppies remain missing, but Nesvik believes she won’t find them. She hopes they are in good homes and well taken care of.
“I hope that somebody that knows something comes forward and that the people responsible for this are held accountable for this,” said Nesvik. “It’s not okay to put anybody through this, the dogs or myself. None of it is right.”
No arrests have been made in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Chandler Police Department at 480-782-4001.
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