In January 2018, a German Shepherd puppy was stolen outside her home in Baytown, Texas. She loved everyone she met, so she didn’t resist when strangers welcomed her into their vehicle. The stolen pup’s family searched for weeks with no sightings and slowly gave up hope.
But the weeks turned into months, and then years. It got to the point where the family thought they’d never see their dog again. But then, they got a phone call that changed everything. A shelter 600 miles away claimed to have the missing German Shepherd in their care, despite being almost five years later.
Beloved Puppy Hops In Wrong Car
The German Shepherd named Sheba was less than a year old when she vanished. Her humans adored her friendly nature and easygoing temperament, and she was a best friend to their three-year-old daughter.
However, Sheba got outside while her family was eating dinner at their neighbor’s house. That one moment changed everything. Security footage showed a white truck slowly approaching the house, and Sheba rushed over to greet them. The puppy hopped in the car without hesitation, not realizing she was in danger. The vehicle drove off with Sheba inside.
Stephanie Malmstrom, Sheba’s owner, marked the dog’s microchip as missing and began searching frantically. She made posters and even created a Facebook page to share updates. She pleaded for help, but no one had any sightings.
“We won’t ask any questions or pursue anything. Just take her to a humane shelter, where she can be scanned for her microchip, or drop her off in the neighborhood and she’ll find her way home,” Malmstrom said.
An Unexpected Return
After almost five years of searching with no leads, the family had given up. So, when someone from animal control in Borger, Texas, contacted Malmstrom, she thought it was a prank. She joked that she thought they’d offer her a cruise and a million dollars too.
“We were searching for years, but after four and a half years of Sheba missing, I lost a little bit of hope,” Malmstrom said.
But the animal control officer explained that they found Sheba wandering the streets, and she seemed too friendly to be a stray. They got Malmstrom’s information after scanning Sheba’s microchip. So, the family face-timed with Sheba to make sure it was really her. Sure enough, the dog still responded to her name and some of the German commands the family taught her.
Yet, Borger is about 600 miles away from Sheba’s hometown. So, the family is working with non-profit Pilots N Paws, who will fly Sheba home. Sheba will return home in the next few days, so the family hopes she remembers them. She may be older now, but her family is excited to give her all the love she missed out on.