A Texas man has been reunited with his dog after he was taken from him on Christmas Day.
Danny Thomason was left devastated after his beloved Boston terrier, Yogi, was snatched from inside his car at a gas station in Spring. According to KHOU-11, Thomason and Yogi had been inseparable since the retiree, who lives alone, got him more than five years ago.
“It was just me and him. We go everywhere together, take trips together,” he told the news outlet.
On Christmas morning, Thomason had pulled into the gas station to fill up, cracking the window open to ensure Yogi stayed cool while he went inside and paid.
Thomson said he wasn’t inside “more than a couple of minutes” yet by the time he returned to his car, Yogi was gone.
The 76-year-old told ABC13 that his worst fears were confirmed when he reviewed the CCTV footage from the gas station.
“I saw the dark Chevrolet truck drive beside me, and the guy got out and put Yogi into his car and drove off,” he said.
Thomason described the shock realization Yogi had been taken from him as “gut-wrenching.”
“It was like one of my children had just been kidnapped,” he said.
Desperate to track down his canine companion, Thomason and his family embarked on a campaign to get the word out about Yogi’s theft. That campaign included filing a report with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Then on Monday, Thomason got the call he had been hoping and praying for: Harris County deputies had found Yogi.
The Boston terrier’s retrieval was credited to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office’s Proactive Auto Theft Unit, which conducted a vigorous investigation into the theft.
According to KHOU, Yogi was found thanks to the work of undercover deputies who were led to a nearby home before recovering the dog from another location.
There’s been no comment from the sheriff’s office on whether anyone has been arrested or is facing charges in connection with the case.
Thomason shed tears of joy upon reuniting with Yogi, telling KHOU his return is “the greatest gift” he could have received this Christmas.
He now plans to take Yogi off to visit all of the family members who helped spread the word about his theft. He also praised the efforts of the deputies who helped secure his safe return.
Newsweek has contacted Harris County Sheriff’s Office for comment.
The story comes just days after a bag of puppies was left abandoned on a convenience store counter on Christmas Day.
Prior to that, a dog and her 11 puppies were deserted outside a closed shelter in freezing temperatures just days before December 25.