ADAMS COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - A dog that was recovered in a theft investigation in Adams County, Ohio has now been reunited with its rightful owners in Missouri.
Cora Burton said her family's two dogs disappeared in Moscow Mills, Missouri in November.
The pets, named Stark and Sansa, took off running as someone was opening the door of their home. Hours of searching for them turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months.
K9 trackers and social media videos led to many tips, but nothing panned out, until now.
In what you could call a twist of fate, Stark somehow ended up in Adams County.
"I think my first words were 'oh my gosh!'" Burton said. "An amazing feeling to have him back home again."
Adams County Sheriff's deputies said he was one of 17 dogs that were discovered in a mobile home as part of a dog theft investigation.
"A dog isn't property. It's family. It's part of yourself," Burton said.
Olivia Yost and Molly Salser are currently facing charges in the case. They are accused of stealing dogs and possibly trying to sell them.
"She doesn't know how her dogs were treated, and I think that's the hardest part," Ashley Femmer with Stray Paws Rescue in St. Louis, said.
Although the hole in Burton's heart is now half-filled, she said the other half is still searching for her dog Sansa.
However, her reunion with Stark, she said, gives her another reason to keep going and to never give up.
"This experience has really made me see that anything is possible, and you just have to have faith, and you just have to try," Burton said.
In total, three of the 17 recovered dogs have been reunited with their owners. The rest are at the Adams County Kennel Club and at the Adams County Humane Society.
Deputies said Yost and Salser are now facing additional charges of receiving stolen property since more dogs have been reunited with their rightful owners. More charges could be added as the investigation unfolds.
If you suspect your dog is one of the animals that was recovered, the dog warden said that, like Burton, you will need documentation and proof to get your dog back.
If you have information on the whereabouts of Sansa, call or text 636-439-6073.