The lottery has been in the news a lot lately: a billion-dollar Mega Millions jackpot up for grabs has had people across the US wondering what it would feel like to win big.
But one family recently got miraculous news that they say is on par with winning the lottery: that their pet dog, who disappeared five years ago, was finally coming home.
The Malstrom family of Baytown, Texas were left devastated in 2018, after their two-year-old German Shepherd, Sheba, was stolen. The abduction was reportedly part of a series of dognappings that had occurred in the area.
According to ABC 13, surveillance footage caught the moment the trusting dog was snatched up by a truck crawling by.
“She’s such a loving animal,” owner Stephanie Malstrom told ABC 13. “She went right to him, thinking she was going to go for a ride. And she hasn’t been back.”
The family searched everywhere, putting up flyers around the neighborhood. Stephanie’s young daughters came up with the idea to lure her back with barbecue, and the family left the dog’s toys and blankets out.
They also placed a $1,000 reward for her return, and pleaded for the dognapper to leave the German Shepherd at a shelter. Still, Sheba was nowhere to be found. Years went by, and the family accepted that their dog was gone for good.
But recently, the family got a miracle in the form of a text message. According to KTRK, the Malmstrom family received an alert that Sheba had been found — five years later and 600 miles away.
It was an unbelievable surprise: “We were all crying,” Stephanie Malmstrom told the outlet. “Me and my girls were just boohooing.”
So unbelievable that she thought it might’ve been a scam or a trick at first, and compared it to being told she won the lottery.
“This is insane. Like I won $1 million and a cruise also.”
It isn’t clear what Sheba has been up to all these years. But Borger Animal Control Officer Jared Harper discovered the German Shepherd on the loose in the Texas panhandle, and knew she was separated from her family.
“Her behavior just showed me this isn’t the normal dog running loose,” Harper told KTRK.
“I opened up my door, she immediately jumped into my lap and across over to the passenger side of my truck,” the officer told KFDA. “I saw a dog and I was gonna help the dog no matter what and once everything started rolling and I talked to her and found out what happened, I was like alright we need to get this dog home, as soon as possible.”
Animal control reportedly used the dog’s microchip to identify the family.
The dog is currently in Harper’s care, but plans are in the works to fly Sheba home to be reunited with the Malmstrom family in the next few days.
They’re already planning to make up for lost time: they plan to cook their long-lost dog a big juicy steak, just like they used to.
We’re so glad Sheba has been found after all these years and is going to reunite with her family!
It’s a reminder to always get your pets microchipped, and to never give up hope that your lost pets can be found, even years later.
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