Dog reunited with owner 2 years after being stolen in Aventura

AVENTURA, FLA. (WSVN) - - A dog and his owner are back together again, nearly two years after he was taken as a puppy from a car outside of a store in Aventura.

7News cameras captured Rian Maercks as he played with his now 2-year-old dog, Schiele, Sunday.

Maercks said he had left Schiele inside of his Tesla, with the doors locked and the air conditioning on, while he went to pick up a new grill at the West Marine along Biscayne Boulevard, near Northeast 178th Street, on Dec. 23, 2017.

When Maercks returned, his car window was smashed, and Schiele was nowhere to be found.

“I looked at my front seat and expected to see this beautiful puppy sleeping and he wasn’t there,” said Maercks.

Schiele, who had been brought from Puerto Rico as a rescue dog and was 4 months old at the time, was stolen the day before Christmas Eve.

“I have no family, so my dogs are my family,” said Maercks.

Maercks said the holidays were never the same since.

“I thought he was either dead or abused or all kinds of thoughts passed through my mind, so I’m really happy to find he’s a healthy and beautiful happy dog,” he said.

Fast forward to this past week.

“I get a phone call that whoever had him dropped him off to Animal Services,” said Maercks.

Maercks said he is in disbelief but also relieved that Schiele is alive and well, just in time for the holidays.

“I’m just really happy to see that he’s not dead. He doesn’t look malnourished or beaten,” said Maercks, “but we really don’t know what’s happened for the past two years, so I’m here to reconnect.”

Maercks said Schiele will either stay with him, or he will find a special family to take care of the dog.

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