Missing Southwest Ranches dog found in Colorado — nearly 2 years later

SOUTHWEST RANCHES, FLA. (WSVN) - It was a happy and unexpected end to the “tail” of a Southwest Ranches dog found thousands of miles from home — nearly two years after, her family said, she was stolen as a puppy.

Four-month-old Cedar disappeared from the Petersons’ home back in 2017.

“She was my dog, and I was her human,” said Chase Peterson, “and she was definitely attached to me, as much as I was to her.”

Chase said he was deeply affected over losing Cedar.

“I was upset, and I was angry,” he said.

Doug Peterson, his father, said his son never gave up hope that he would reunite with his beloved German shepherd.

“He never forgot about her. He wants her back now and never gave up,” he said. “He’d been praying and whatnot, hoping that the dog would come back.”

Chase’s prayers did not go unanswered. A photo taken at Eastern Colorado Veterinary Services in Hugo, Colorado, shows a much bigger Cedar, hardly resembling the pictures her family took of her as a puppy.

A police officer found Cedar and took her to the vet’s office, located about a two-hour drive from Denver, where Dr. Leesa McCue scanned for a microchip.

“They gave me a phone number, and I contacted that phone number, and the receptionist answered and told me where they were,” she said in a phone interview, “and I’m like, ‘Oh, Florida. That’s quite a ways away, and how long ago?'”

“It turned out that it was our dog,” said Doug.

How Cedar got there and what’s happened to her over the past two years remains a mystery, but apparently the sweetness that the Petersons remember is still there.

“Cedar is a wonderful, wonderful animal. She’s very kind, she greets you, she listens to you,” said McCue.

And soon she will be home with her family, which includes several other dogs.

“I’m very thankful that the officer was a good Samaritan and decided to bring her in,” said Chase. “I’m very grateful and thankful for that.”

“I call it the power of prayer,” said Doug, “and my son never stopped praying the whole time that his dog would come back.”

The Petersons are working with the vet’s office, as well as the Humane Society and other resources to try to have Cedar returned to them.

The family believes their dog was stolen, and are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the person responsible for her disappearance. They said they want to make sure that this never happens to another family.

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