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REUNITED: Stolen emotional support dog reunited with owner after Metairie car theft


METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) – An emotional support dog has been reunited with its owner after stories of how the dog was stolen during a Metairie car theft made headlines last week.

According to the Humane Society of Louisiana, Nila, an 8-year-old Shar-Pei mix, was stolen after her owner, Kevin Brinkman, regrettably abandoned his car at the Winn-Dixie grocery store on Thursday, September 29. When he returned After only being gone a few minutes, Brinkman returned to find both his car and dog gone.

HSLA reports that after Brinkman filed a police report, people from every corner of Louisiana worked to bring Nila home with overwhelming support on social media. Luckily, a Florida police stop just days later yielded some good news.

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On Saturday, a call from the Panama City Police Department revealed that the suspect accused of stealing the vehicle had been arrested, and to the surprise of officers, Nila was still in the back seat of the car. The suspect’s name was not released, but we are told they are also accused of attempting to use several of Brinkman’s stolen credit cards.

Nila and her owner were reunited at the Panama City Animal Shelter, which cared for the dog until Brinkman arrived. The reunion was rightly joyful and emotional.

“I am beyond grateful and happy,” Brinkman said in a statement. “I learned my lesson on how to leave any pet unattended in a vehicle for any amount of time, and I’m grateful to everyone who helped me find Nila.”