LOCAL NEWS

Woman Reunited With Dog Taken From Restaurant

Jul 30, 2019, 5:46 PM | Updated: 7:14 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – In a matter of seconds, someone walked off with a woman’s beloved dog from inside a popular restaurant in West Valley City. That was 19 days ago, and the owner had nearly given up hope of getting her 13-year-old Chihuahua back. But, she was reunited with her dog, ChaCha today.

“She was very happy,” said Tamira Echeverria, who has had the dog for nine years. “She was running around. She was literally turning around when she saw me.”

Tamira Echeverria had been heartbroken after someone walked off with her dog from Cafe Rio while she was in line picking up her food. But, she was elated this afternoon when she got a call that her dog had been returned here at the shelter.

“Whoever brought her home.. thank you so much for bringing her back. She means a lot to me,“ she said. “I’m just glad she’s coming home. I’ve got to give her a bath and get her nails clipped.”

Earlier, Echeverria was distraught after ChaCha had been taken from the Café Rio restaurant on Constitution Boulevard July 11 around noon.

“I don’t have any kids,” she said. “Everybody knows that ChaCha was my world. I took her everywhere. We would have movie dates.”

She took her dog inside the restaurant that day in a carrier bag because she did not want to leave her dog in the hot car. She put the carrier on a chair, and went through the food line, all the while keeping a close eye on her dog. But, Echeverria lost sight of ChaCha briefly at the cash register.

“I went to go pay for my food, and she was gone,” she said. “I started to freak out because nobody had seen anything.”

Police recently posted surveillance pictures of a woman who may have taken the dog. Somebody who knows her brought the dog in to the West Valley City animal shelter this afternoon.

“I cried. I did my ugly cry because I love her so much and I just… It was amazing.”

Police said there may have been confusion about whether the dog was abandoned, although, nobody asked around when the dog was taken, according to Echeverria..

Police tell me they have spoken with the woman suspected of taking the dog. But she is out of the country right now, and police have arranged to meet with her when she returns.
Echeverria said she is simply glad to have her companion back.

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