SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — A San Francisco dog owner said the power of social media and a stranger’s kindness helped reunite her with her stolen pet pug Thursday morning.
Otis, an Instagram-famous dog, was taken from their apartment on Wednesday around 2 p.m.
Kelly Fitch, Otis’ owner, said she came home to find him missing. Her surveillance camera, she said, showed a person using a key to open her apartment door.
“Only two people I know have keys to my apartment so narrows it down, it’s not someone that kicked it in,” Fitch said.
What ensued for more than twelve hours after Otis was stolen involved a community of friends and strangers who were determined to help Fitch find her beloved pug.
Fitch said she not only turned to her friends to help post flyers around the city but she also turned to Otis’ nearly 30,000 followers on Instagram. She posted a social media alert that she said others went on to re-post.
She said she didn’t sleep much overnight. Then came a call around 5:30 a.m. from a man who had spotted her flyer. He told Fitch he thought he saw Otis at a homeless encampment on 14th and Mission Streets and agreed to meet her there to find him.
“I get emotional talking about it,” she said.
She said it took the man, who wanted to remain anonymous for this story, nearly two hours to finally track down Otis in the encampment. She said he told her he simply wanted to help reunite them.
“Even thinking about it I cannot believe that it happened,” said Fitch. “They gave him to me and said, ‘We want you to have your dog. This is your dog.'”
That dog was Otis.
Fitch is grateful and thankful to have Otis back home with her but the ordeal still brings her to tears as she continues to process what happened.
“I didn’t think I could see him again in my life, to be honest,” she said. “I was hopeful but I was preparing for the worst because good things like this — you hope they happen.”
She added that police have good leads on who stole Otis but didn’t elaborate.