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Stolen Dog Returned To Staten Island Family 4 Days Later

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — All a Staten Island family had was surveillance video and hope after their dog was stolen – but on Tuesday night, it appeared to have paid off.

As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the Pennachio family of New Dorp Beach finally has their dog back, four days after surveillance cameras on their property caught someone grabbing the animal right outside their home.

“Thank God your back!” Victoria Pennachio, 12, said as she held on tight to her 11-year-old teacup Yorkie, Rusty.

The Pennachios were stunned to see their surveillance cameras caught a man snatching the dog.

“My heart was in my throat. I was upset,” said Angela Pennachio. “We tried to find where he was and run after him. But he was nowhere to be found.”

On Friday night, the Pennachios let out Rusty and their other dog, Chewy, in the backyard. Tiny 2-pound Rusty, who is blind in one eye and suffers from seizures, squeezed through a gap in the fence.

The family said Rusty has slipped through the gate before. But he has always come to the front yard, done his business and gone up the steps to be let back in.

This time, a thief got to him.

“He didn’t even attempt to ring the bell,” Angela Pennachio said. “He just picked him up and walked away. I guess he figured it’s an expensive dog — the teacup Yorkies.”

The Pennachios, concerned about Rusty’s health, posted a plea on Facebook. On Tuesday afternoon, their surveillance cameras showed a woman who claimed to see the post showing up at their front door with Rusty in hand.

“I said, ‘Where did you get him? Where did you find him?’” Angela Pennachio said. “And she said, ‘My boyfriend had gotten him from somebody in Brooklyn.’”

Victoria Pennachio was thrilled at the reunion.

“My stomach turned. I was so nervous,” she said. “I just couldn’t believe he’s back.”

The Pennachios said having Rusty home is all that matters.

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