It was “an emotional outburst of joy for happiness for the family and Im sure the entire animal loving community, as well,” Taylor Galt, Atlas’ owner, told Global News.
“A woman named Jessica and two people who want to remain anonymous were very helpful in the recovery of Atlas and those are the three people who will get the reward we offered,” said Ian. “The money is going to the good people.”
After four nights without their beloved dog, the Galt family was greeted by friends and family when they returned home to Kelowna with their pet on Wednesday afternoon.
On Monday, Galt began getting text messages from a person who claimed to have recovered Atlas, but they also wanted to recover a $5,000 reward the family had offered for the dog’s return.
Atlas the golden retriever was taken by a woman at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday from the property on Taylor Crescent. Surveillance video shows the woman approaching the fence, opening it and running down the road with the dog.
RCMP told the Galts to wait at a location in Penticton while officers retrieved the animal on Wednesday.
“We felt absolutely sick to our stomachs… It’s been a horrific feeling having a piece of our family taken away from us,” said Taylor Galt. “It’s been an emotional rollercoaster.”
“The police called us. They said they had Atlas,” Galt said of their reunion. “They opened up the back door and he came running into my arms crying.
Galt suspects the man who was texting them was working with the woman who stole the 18-month-old dog from their Taylor Cres. backyard on Saturday night, an event that was caught on a neighbour’s surveillance camera.
“I believe I know exactly who it was. I cant reveal the name, but I have 100 per cent confidence in who it was,” Galt said.
“Returning Atlas to his Kelowna home was our first priority and no further updates will be provided at this time,” Const. Lesley Smith said in an email late Wednesday.
Galt said they did not pay the ransom to the man who had Atlas, but told his followers on social media he would give it to others.
“There were three people who were instrumental in recovery of Atlas, who will be getting the reward. Without their help, and the Kelowna Police I’m not sure when we would get Atlas back home.”
After posting about the theft on social media Saturday, the Galts said they received hundreds of messages from people across the country.
“I need to say thank you to everyone who has messaged me and given me hope,” Galt said. “This was a devastating moment for our entire family, for myself, [for] everyone included.”
Details of where the dog was found are not yet available, but Atlas is on his way back to Kelowna with his family.
Over the past few days, Kelowna RCMP have received numerous tips from the public and continued to follow up on a number of potential leads,” said Kelowna RCMP Cst. Lesley Smith. While working closely with the complainant, our members were able to track down Atlas location and he was returned to his owner just after 4 p.m. this afternoon.”
Daily Hive Vancouver has reached out to RCMP for more details and will update the story once more information is released.
Surveillance video showed the theft of the 18-month-old Golden Retriever on Saturday night, at approximately 7:30 p.m., from the familys fenced-in yard along the 2400 block of Taylor Crescent in the Mission area.
Kelowna RCMP, in a statement, said the pooch, allegedly stolen from his owner's father's backyard on Saturday, has been found and reunited with his worried family.
Video from a neighbour's security camera shows a woman leading the 18-month-old golden retriever from the backyard under the glow of streetlights in the Okanagan city.
"Over the past few days Kelowna RCMP have received numerous tips from the public and continued to follow up on a number of potential leads." Const. Lesley Smith said in a statement.
"While working closely with the complainant, our members were able to track down Atlas' location."
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