FRESNO, Calif. (KTVU) - A Fresno man went above and beyond to help reunite a little girl with her stolen dog.
Jeremiah Lee was browsing Facebook on Saturday morning, when he saw that a dog in his neighborhood had been stolen.
Lee tells KTVU his aunt had shared the lost ad for 'Ziggy.’ He decided to help get the word out and shared the information on a page his neighborhood has that's specifically designated for lost pets. Lee was checking up on the post and noticed one commenter spotted Ziggy for sale on Craigslist.
The owner confirmed the photo in the ad was Ziggy.
That’s when Lee took the matter into his own hands. "So I didn't say anything and figured I'd try contacting the person and pretend that I was interested in buying the dog. Then I decided to download an app that can text people while masking a phone number. I texted the seller a message saying that they broke a little girls heart and to do the right thing. I thought I wouldn't hear back," he said.
To Lee's surprise, the seller texted him back. "She told me that she had no idea that the dog was stolen and that she bought Ziggy from a homeless person. She stated that all she wanted was to be reimbursed the money that she paid for him which was $40,"
Lee arranged to meet the seller in a public place. For a short time, the seller lost contact with Lee, and he thought she had backed out.
He said, "She gave me an idea of where she was at and I drove over and found her on a street corner, Ziggy in hand. I handed her the $40 and she put Ziggy through the car window and took off."
Lee took Ziggy home, and posted a photo with his phone number on the lost ad.
The owner called him immediately and came over to pick up Ziggy.
"Ziggy is such a sweet boy. He was scared when I bought him, but calmed down pretty quickly as we drove home," Lee said.
He said the owner, Kris Villasenor, was pretty ecstatic. "She had her daughter on speaker phone and she was crying tears of joy. Then she handed me $40 and would not take it back. It really was a joyful experience."
Villasenor later posted on Facebook, "And this is why I haven't given up on society, there are amazing people out there. A big thank you to Jeremiah who had no idea who we were and went out of his way to buy the dog back and give it back to my daughter. Kudos to you!"