A day after issuing a desperate plea for the safe return of his beloved Pomeranian Lucci, world-renowned soccer star Daniel Sturridge announced his dog was found in South Los Angeles.
“Just wanted to say waking up to good news that Lucci has officially been brought home," the former striker for the Liverpool Football Club said Wednesday morning in a video post on his Instagram account. "Absolutely delighted."
Sturridge and a group of friends drove down to South L.A. to retrieve the missing dog just after 11 p.m. Tuesday, according to the post.
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Thanks to everyone worldwide for the support. We’re so grateful for you all without you this wouldn’t have been possible!! @luccidapoochie is safe and sound!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Thanks to everyone involved across LA. Special thanks to @kimberlychengtv for giving us the tip off that someone called into the show and said they have him. Her lead enabled myself and friends to go pick him up. 😎🙌🏾❤️
The dog was apparently discovered by two KTLA viewers, who called into the newsroom to say they had found the dog running in a street. Reporter Kimberly Cheng passed along the tip to Sturridge, who confirmed the dog was Lucci.
"Her lead enabled myself and friends to go pick him up," Sturridge wrote in the text accompanying the video post.
A short time after the first post, he uploaded another video of Lucci playing with a toy after the pair were reunited.
The small pup was stolen by a group of thieves who broke into his Hollywood Hills home while he was gone for a few hours late Monday, Sturridge said.
The burglars smashed a glass door and entered the house, taking the dog and other belongings, according to Sturridge. He shared surveillance video showing three men walking around the home.
Sturridge took to social media early Tuesday and pleaded for the dog's safe return, saying in a series of videos on Instagram Stories that he would pay $30,000 or more to get the Pomeranian back.
"We just care about Lucci. I'm not even asking for anyone to be arrested or anything," Sturridge told KTLA later on Tuesday. "All I care about is the dog being returned."
After Lucci's safe return, he expressed thanks and appreciation to those on social media who raised awareness about the case and supported him.
It was not immediately known whether Sturridge paid reward money to the person who found the dog.
KTLA's Nancy Fontan contributed to this story.