It was a tearful reunion for 10-year-old Marissa Mabanag and her little dog Meeko. Thieves broke into her family's home and stole the 5-month-old shih tzu-yorkie mix on Monday. Wednesday, Marissa pleaded for Meeko's safe return, offering her piggy bank savings as a reward.
After hearing about Marissa's heartfelt plea, Blanca Del Real came forward, saying a woman gave her the puppy after finding it wandering in a Walmart parking lot in Los Banos more than 100 miles from his San Jose home.
"I want to say thank you to everybody who made this happen," Marissa said. "I just can't believe he's in my arms right now, I thought he'd be gone forever."
Amid hugs and tears, a San Jose City Councilmember and San Jose police and firefighters presented Del Real with a $6,000 reward check. She accepted their check, but not Marissa's piggy bank money.
Police believe the thieves, who also made off with thousands of dollars of electronics, dumped Meeko after realizing the dog's photo publicized on the Internet.