Stolen therapy dog returned to young girl

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno family says their daughter's therapy dog Coco has been returned, a few days after it was taken from the front of their home.

The Castellanos family says the person who returned Coco wants to stay anonymous.

The family shared these photos with Action News of the happy reunion.

Our original story on the disappearance of Coco is below.


A Fresno family is hoping for any leads in finding their daughter's therapy dog after it was taken from the front of their home.

Surveillance video shows the final moments the Castellanos family saw their dog, Coco.

They have tried giving the benefit of the doubt to the person, thinking maybe they thought they were rescuing a stray, but it's the suspicious behavior the surveillance video shows that has them thinking otherwise.

Though the video is dark, it shows a parked car. Once an SUV drives by, it sheds light on the dog before it vanishes into the night, in front of their E Simpson Avenue home.

Ana Castellanos says it is what happens next that causes concern.

The driver of a car parked across the street gets back in his car, turns off his headlights, before reversing away and, "Backs the car all the way to my neighbor's house, makes a U-turn, no lights."

Coco is more than her daughter Aaliyah's best friend; the chihuahua mix could save her life.

Ana says, "My daughter has a medical condition she has cerebral palsy and seizures. We were getting the dog trained to be a service dog so he could alert us when my daughter is having a seizure."

It was around 9:40 pm on Sunday when the dog was last seen.

Ana stayed home to care for the pup while the kids and husband celebrated fathers day at a family party. She stepped away to take a phone call while the dog was outside.

"My daughter keeps asking me mom are they going to bring my dog back? I don't know what to tell my daughter," Ana says.

Castellanos has gone to nearby businesses for their surveillance video, posted flyers, and checked area animal shelters.

"I keep telling her, 'Yes, this person is going to do the right thing and bring your dog back,' but at this point, I'm really stressed, I don't know what to do."

Shelters like Valley Animal Center say it's essential to have your dog microchipped. That acts as a permanent form of I.D. should your dog ever get lost or stolen. Valley Animal Center is doing $10 off special through July.
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