MISSION HILLS, Calif. (KTLA) — A 79-year-old Mission Hills woman has been reunited with her lost dog after two years, police said on Thursday.
When Smuth, a female Shih tzu-Pekingese mix, went missing from her home, Adeline Cruz never thought she would see her pet again.
Then, the retired teacher received a call from a rescue group that was given the dog last March, according to a news release from Los Angeles police.
Smuth had been found in Canoga Park by a meter reader, who gave the dog to a resident. The resident had friends at the rescue group.
The rescue had the dog bathed and spayed, and also had a small growth removed from her head, at a total cost of $289.
When the veterinarian scanned the dog for a chip, her true owner was discovered.
The rescue group called Cruz and wanted payment for the dog’s care before returning her, police said.
Cruz, in turn, called police, according to the news release.
Since the vet costs were not authorized by Cruz, she could not be held liable for reimbursing the rescue, police said.
Detectives spoke to the group and explained the law. They agreed to return Smuth, and Cruz agreed to make a donation to the rescue.
“It was very gratifying to be involved like this,” said Det. Samer Issa, of the LAPD’s Mission Detective Division.
“It was more like returning a lost child than lost property, and everybody was happy, especially Smuth,” he said.
Thursday was Cruz’s birthday, and she said getting Smuth back “was the best present ever,” police said.