A Fort Worth, Texas, family had been begging someone who appears to live in their neighborhood to return a dog they left out in the cold after last week's ice storm. But the anonymous thief held out for a week, taking the family to task on an Internet website, calling the family negligent, saying they mistreated the dog.
Crawford and Mary Clay Gupton say someone sawed the lock off their outdoor pen and took 10-month-old Heidi, a Swiss mountain dog, last Friday.
"I'm so tired of her being gone and I just want her home," Mary Clay Gupton said.
The family began the frantic search for Heidi by posting fliers and videos on the Internet, including the social news website Reddit.
That's when the thief, under the alias "dogthedogsaver," responded to the couple's post and admitted he cut through the family's breezeway while walking past the home.
"Not wanting such a sweet dog to freeze to death I headed home, grabbed some tools and headed back," dogthedogsaver wrote. "She's now with a family that will love her and give her the attention she deserves."
The thief also posted a picture of the stolen dog with a toy in her mouth and a note that said, "Thanks 4 rescuing me w/ dogthedogsaver."
The dog snatcher also claims Heidi was thin, malnourished and "covered in a film of filth and has a crap ton of fleas."
Crawford Gupton said, "Of course, we just collapsed. Couldn't believe the kind of, you know, you feel violated like these people know who you are."
They admit that they were out to dinner and that the dog had been in below-freezing temperatures for hours. But they say Heidi's breed thrives in cold weather.
"This dog is bred to not live in Texas. It's actually bred to live in Switzerland and this dog can handle this kind of temperature," Gupton said.
But dogthedogsaver disagrees, and said in the scathing note that Heidi was "much happier now."
"She whines at the door when her new daddy leaves, has a huge back yard to play in and two other dogs her size to play around with. Oh, and she has a doggie door so she can go in and out whenever she wants," dogthedogsave wrote.
But the thief eventually softened, posting Thursday on Reddit, "Heidi will be returned tonight."
According to the latest post on Reddit, she's now back with her owners."