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'Like I won $1 million': Baytown family stunned their stolen dog 'Sheba' was found 5 years later

The dog was located more than 600 miles from home.

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- A Baytown family is stunned after receiving a message that their dog who was stolen five years ago was found more than 600 miles away.

The Malmstrom family still can't get over the video that recently arrived on their phones.

"We were all crying," Stephanie Malmstrom recalled. "Me and my girls were just boohooing."

The excitement was triggered by a mysterious text message.

"I was like, 'No way,'" Malmstrom recalled. "This is insane. Like I won $1 million and a cruise also."

Five years ago, the family's home surveillance captured what happened to their German Shepard named Sheba.

As she slept outside, cameras caught how Sheba went missing.

"She runs from underneath the porch, they scoop her up, walk around the back side of the truck, load her up and take off," Malmstrom explained.

A story ABC13 highlighted five years ago remained a mystery until Monday.

An animal control officer more than 600 miles away in Texas' Panhandle spotted the dog on the street.

"Her behavior just showed me this isn't the normal dog running loose," Borger Animal Control Officer Jared Harper said.

Harper doesn't know who had the dog, or how it ended up more than 600 miles away. He does know though who the real owners are.

Since finding the dog, he's shared images and done virtual video calls with the Baytown family.

"It's unbelievable, Jared," Malmstrom said. "Thank you so much."

"Of course," Harper said. "I mean for me. I'm just doing my job."

The officer isn't the only one who the family wanted to thank. Former ABC13 reporter Deborah Wrigley covered the original story. She was called during our interview with Malmstrom to learn the good news.

"I wanted to reach out to you and tell you, 'Thank you for covering our story five years ago,'" Malmstrom said to Wrigley.

It's an appreciation with an almost perfect ending, which could be only days away. The family is working with organizations to fly Sheba home.

"We had steak night once a week," Malmstrom recalled. "Dad cooks the best steaks, so we already have steak night planned for when she gets home."

A weekly ritual revived after the video they never expected to receive arrived on their phones.

For updates on this story, follow Nick Natario on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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