Missing dog returned to Utah family after woman allegedly stole animal, listed him for sale online

SALT LAKE CITY – Earlier this week Fox 13 reported the story of a family who says their missing dog was stolen and then posted for sale online, and now “Moose” is back with his owners.

Jonathan Davis says their family dog, Moose, got loose earlier this week and was found by a neighbor. That neighbor was eager to find the owners and posted a photo of Moose online.

By the time the Davis family found out what had happened, someone had already come to the neighbor’s home and taken Moose, claiming to be the rightful owner. Then the family saw Moose’s photo in an online classified ad, but they felt like there was nothing they could do to prove their case and get their pet back.

But Moose is home with his family Friday after a man says he recognized the dog.

“I saw the story and it was pretty heart touching because I know what it'd be like to lose a dog,” Danny Lechtenberg said.

Lechtenberg said after seeing the original story, he realized the person allegedly trying to sell Moose online was one of his wife’s relatives.

“To find out it was someone close that would do that, just take a dog and try to sell it for a profit, that's like, I don't know: I didn't know what to think of it,” Lechtenberg said.

As a dog owner himself, he knew he had to act.

“I was going to do whatever it took to get it back,” he said.

Lechtenberg had a key to the person's house and went over. After knocking and receiving no answer, he went inside and found Moose on a couch.

“I could instantly tell that was the dog they were talking about because I recognized it from the pictures on the news,” he said.

Danny said he took Moose to police, who verified the dog's microchip. Danny then called Moose's family to tell them their dog was on his way home.

“They were just ecstatic,” Lechtenberg said. “They were really grateful. They just didn't know how to thank me enough.”

These cases don't happen often but they do happen. That’s why the Humane Society says people who find unattended animals should always take them to a shelter so they can check if the dog has a microchip and get the animal back to the real owner.

In this case the neighbor did just that, however the microchip was not detected at that time. Davis said he suspects the microchip in Moose, which was implanted years ago, may have shifted.