An abandoned dog, which had the words "free" and "I need a home" scribbled on its body with a black marker, was reunited with its owner after it was found wandering about 50 miles away from its home.
The dog's owner, who lives in Yolo County, had apparently seen a news report about her dog and rushed to the Benicia Police Department to claim it, Lt. Mike Greene said.
"The owner was very happy," he said. "It was obvious the owner cared for the dog."
Photographs of the dog's scribbled body went viral after Benicia resident Shannon Bettencourt found it last Thursday outside a Chinese food restaurant, KTVU reported.
Someone had apparently written "free" on the dog's body and scribbled "I need a home" on its head.
"Outwardly, it's kind of appalling someone would be so cruel to write on a dog," Greene said.
The dog went missing sometime after June 28 when the owner, whose name was not released by police, had a yard sale at her home. The dog either ran away or was stolen, Greene said.
To prove she owned the dog, the owner provided its vaccination records and photographs. An animal control officer talked to the woman to ensure the dog would be safe.
Meanwhile, Bettencourt was reportedly heartbroken about giving up the dog because she had grown attached to it, Greene said.