LARGO — A wayward white bichon frise named Miki has been returned to her rightful owners after a misunderstanding was cleared up with the alleged dognapper.
Miki was reported stolen last month after someone found the dog wandering the streets and took her to Pinellas County Animal Control, 12450 Walsingham Road. The good Samaritan put the dog into the after-hours dropoff cage but did not see the padlock, so the gate was left unlocked, according to sheriff's deputies.
This person later saw signs posted by Miki's owner reporting her as lost, so the owners were contacted and told the dog was at Animal Control. But when Miki wasn't there, the owners filed a report and deputies investigated.
Surveillance video showed a man and woman driving up to the dropoff area, leaving a large dog in a dropoff cage, and then leaving with Miki. After news media aired the video, several tipsters called the Sheriff's Office and the man who took the dog was located.
By that time, though, Miki had run off again. Working with Miki's owners, the man helped post more signs to find Miki.
Someone found Miki near 34th Street and 70th Avenue N and she was returned to her owners.
The owners chose not to press charges against the man who took Miki, deputies said.