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UPDATE: Missing Dog Is Found Only To Be Claimed By A Stranger

UPDATED: 6/16/17

The power of the media has helped a heartbroken family reunite with their missing dog, Lily just two days after their story aired on Denver 7 News. And when I say “the power of the media,” I mean that quite literally! Denver 7’s own Jason Gruenauer played detective after coverage of Lily’s story inspired an anonymous tip.

A bit of legwork later and Gruenauer found himself hand delivering the lost dog back to her family!

Screenshot via Denver 7 News


It all began on June 11 when a stranger responded to a Craigslist ‘found dog’ post and picked Lily up from the good Samaritan who found her. Lily’s true family contacted Denver 7 in order to bring awareness to the issue and warn other pet owners in the community. Although they hoped the story would result in Lily’s return, they prepared themselves for the worst.

That’s when Jason Gruenauer swooped in to save the day! The anonymous tip led him to a home in Arvada, CO. As soon as he laid eyes on Lily, he knew it was her by a distinctive scar described by her owner. The man who had her claimed that the whole situation was a misunderstanding and urged Gruenauer to take the dog.

With only his trusty Denver 7 News cruiser for transportation, Gruenauer and Lily embarked on a short – and adorable – drive home! You have GOT to see this video!



The desperate, heart-pounding fear of having a beloved pet go missing brings to mind several nightmare scenarios: What if she gets hit by a car? What if she’s cold, sick, hurt, hungry, or frightened? Most of us never consider that our dog might be found by a good Samaritan, only to be claimed and stolen by a stranger. That’s exactly what happened to one Denver family whose Schnauzer/Poodle mix, Lily disappeared after getting loose from their home.

The man who found 11-year-old Lily posted an ad on Craigslist with the address where she could be picked up, but the person who arrived to claim her this past Sunday was not Lily’s rightful owner. She has been missing – again – ever since.

The good Samaritan did not question the man, who stated Lily was his mother’s dog and had disappeared three weeks earlier, but he did capture his image thanks to home security cameras.

“We would love to get our dog back but we want people in the community to know there are individuals out there doing these kinds of activities,” Lily’s owner told ABC 7 Denver.

In response to this heartbreaking story, Tracy Koss of the Denver Animal Shelter told ABC 7 that lost pets are best entrusted to the professionals at your local shelter where they can scan for microchips, trace tags, and reach out to possible owners.

Koss added that they ask for proof of ownership when a person comes in to claim a pet.

“We ask for pictures on cell phones that everyone has now, we ask for medical records,” she said.

Lily’s true family is still holding out hope that their beloved family dog will be returned to them. They also want to help spare other families the pain that they are going through.

“Hopefully by telling this story, the next family that has this situation happen will get their dog back,” her owner shared.


H/T & Featured Image via ABC 7 Denver

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Written by Dina Fantegrossi
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