NEW CANEY, Texas — A family passing through the Houston area said their golden retriever Lucy was stolen from a restaurant parking lot over the weekend.
The owner said when he went inside with his family to eat, he left Lucy tied to a tree in the shade with water. When he went back outside, Lucy was gone.
That turned out to be a big mistake. About 15 minutes later, surveillance video shows a woman untie the dog and lead Lucy to her pick-up truck.
KHOU 11 obtained the license plate number from the truck, which led to a home in New Caney with lots of dogs.
We knocked on the door and when someone answered, we asked if there was a woman outside the restaurant who collects dogs. The man at the door responded, "My cousin."
"She just collects dogs, I guess?" reporter Matt Dougherty asked.
"I don’t know,” the man said.
Soon after that exchange, a small boy brought Lucy to the front door. She was happy to see the KHOU 11 crew.
“We thought it was abandoned," the boy said.
The people at the home gave Lucy to the KHOU 11 crew who then called authorities.
Lucy's owner, Andrew Mathias, was called at his home in Grandview so he could hear the good news.
"Well, I don’t want to bury the lead I’ll go ahead and let you know," Dougherty said. "We’ve got somebody in the back seat with us."
"What?! Oh, my God. Where’d you get her?" Mathias asked.
Mathias said he is never going to leave Lucy on a leash unattended in public again.
KHOU 11 met up with his family in New Caney. The Polk County Pct. 2 Constable Bill Cunningham witnessed the transfer of Lucy to the family members who will be making sure this long lost pup finally makes it home.
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