According to the Humane Society of Louisiana, Nila, an 8-year-old Shar Pei mix, was stolen after her owner, Kevin Brinkman, regrettably left his car running at Winn-Dixie grocery store on Thursday, Sept. 29. When he returned after only being gone for a few minutes, Brinkman returned to find that both his car and dog were gone.
The HSLA reports that after Brinkman filed a police report, overwhelming amount of support on social media saw people from all corners of Louisiana working to to help bring Nila home. Luckily, a police stop in Florida led to a discovery of happy news only days later.
On Saturday, a call from the Panama City Police Department revealed that the suspect accused of stealing the vehicle had been arrested, and to officers’ surprise, Nila was still sitting in the backseat of the car. The suspect’s name was not disclosed, but we’re told they are also accused of trying to use several of Brinkman’s stolen credit cards.
Nila and her owner were reunited at the Panama City Animal Shelter, who was caring for the dog until Brinkman arrived. Rightfully so, the reunion was joyous and emotional.
“I am beyond grateful and happy,” Brinkman said in a statement. “I learned my lesson about leaving any pet in any vehicle unattended for any amount of time, and I am grateful to everyone who helped me recover Nila.”