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Family grateful for return of dog allegedly stolen from Wawa

Family grateful for return of dog stolen from Wawa
Family grateful for return of dog stolen from Wawa 01:57

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A dog believed to be stolen from a Wawa parking lot in Philadelphia is safely back home after nearly three weeks.

Theo's owners claim on Nov. 15, they stopped at the Wawa and left the dog in their car. When they came back out, their car door was open and Theo was nowhere to be found.

"We do believe he was taken," Natalie Ciervo said.

Nearly three weeks ago, 2-year-old Theo went missing. The next morning his owners, Ciervo and Matt Berk started sharing his photo on fliers and social media.

"As we shared the sightings, people came out to help," Ciervo said, "but it probably pushed him further away into hiding."

Four days later, someone spotted Theo at a 100-acre water plant in Port Richmond. Berk immediately drove over, but getting Theo wasn't as simple as calling his name.

"Matt laid out for about six hours outside the wooded area trying to get Theo to come to us," Ciervo said.

"Animals in these distressed situations turn into a ferrell state and a fight and flight state," Berk said, "and so any person anyone calling to them even their own owner is a predator to them."

After doing this for several days the week of Thanksgiving, Ciervo and Berk connected with Glenn and Kathleen from Southern New Jersey Humane Tracking who helped them come up with a plan to lure and catch Theo, led by a tip he had been frequenting a few backyards in Bridesburg.

"We were able to establish a routine of his and know that he would show up each night looking for food," Berk said.

After several failed attempts, Saturday night, Theo was safely trapped.

Theo spent most of Sunday resting and despite losing about 10 pounds, Ciervo and Berk say he is doing well.

Everyone, including brother Frankie, says they are grateful to be together again.

"Without the goodwill of everyone who shared, liked and kept their eyes out when they thought they saw him," Frankie said, "and we certainly wouldn't have gotten them home without the guidance and support of trappers."

A $5,000 reward will be divided up among several people who helped get Theo home, including Kathleen and Glenn from Southern New Jersey Humane Tracking.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help other families who are still looking for their pets who have gone missing.

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