Alyssa Sanderford is being rightfully called a hero after rescuing a stranger’s dog in a high speed chase.
The 34-year-old woman from Dallas, TX started running after a dog she recognized from an ad describing him as missing on Facebook the day before. The Lab/Chesapeake mixed mutt named Wiley had disappeared from being tied up outside a Trader Joe’s store on Lower Greenville Avenue, a place where pets are usually safe. As reported by People, Wiley’s distraught owners Angela and Sterling Ream, both 32, searched tirelessly for their beloved canine companion, walking door-to-door, posting fliers and spreading the word on Facebook and all the other social media platforms they could think of.
The brave civilian superhero, who stands at just 5-foot-3-inches tall, said she chased down the thief and dognapper by foot and by car.
“The thing that I kept thinking was, ‘This is my fault. I’m the one who brought her here.” Ream told the Dallas Observer. “It’s not like she got out of the back yard or ran away. I did this. She’s not going to fight someone who takes her. She’s too kind. That was the worst thing, facing the possibility of losing my baby girl combined with the fact that this is no one’s fault but mine.”
Luckily, it had been Wiley’s bright orange collar in a photo she shared on Facebook that helped Sanderford spot the missing pup.
“I have a Jeep, and I have two dogs myself,” she told the Dallas Observer. “I’ll run into Whole Foods just for a second and run out. The thought has crossed my mind that they might be taken but never really, so seeing that on Facebook made me feel really sad.” After Sanderford re-shared the post on Facebook, she was driving when she saw a dog looking much like Wiley with a man at a bus stop.
“I probably didn’t do the smartest thing. I just walked up to him and said, ‘That dog’s stolen. You need to give it back.’ He was like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ I said, ‘You took that dog last night at Trader Joe’s. Give me the leash.’”
“I tried to reach for it. He got pretty angry. I grabbed the leash, and he jerked it out of my hands.”
For the next 35 minutes, Sanderford chased after the thief by feet. A strange couple soon pulled up and told her to jump in before a Goodwill worker stopped Wiley and his dognapper, who claimed he was homeless and found the dog.
“I don’t even know this girl, and she risked so much to bring our dog home to us,” Ream said after getting her dog back. “It’s an unbelievable story. It sounds a little silly, but it restores your faith in humanity. For the one bad guy who had her, there were so many people who reached out and cared.”
“My dad was like, ‘Are you going to press charges?’ I said, ‘No!’ To be honest, I am kind of praying for that guy. I don’t know his motives. If he’s just lonely and wanted a companion, I hope he finds one, his own. If he really needed money that badly, you have to be really desperate to steal a dog.”
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[Featured Image: Facebook / Alyssa Sanderford]