Homeward bound: Stolen dog returned to owners, accused thief arrested

By Sophia Beausoleil - Reporter

HOUSTON - A family's beloved dog was stolen and then returned.

Police said a burglar snatched Max from a southeast Houston home, but officers eventually tracked down the dog and the suspect.

Max is now safe and sound.

"He's just a loveable dog, very friendly," Damaris Ramirez said.

Max is a 1-year-old French bulldog.

"He's a spoiled dog because he's inside. He's not an outside dog. He only drinks bottled water. We just wanted him to be safe, you know," Ramirez said.

Ramirez said her husband came home on Dec. 30, 2018, to find their pup missing.

"I was like, 'What do you mean, he's not there?' He was like, 'He's not here, his kennel is gone, the dog food is gone,'" Ramirez said.

The Ramirez family said the suspect broke in through their bathroom window and only stole the dog.

The family of five just moved into their home and still has workers remodeling their house. That's when it dawned on them it was possibly an inside job.

"My husband had suspicions because that guy was taking pictures of Max and asking him questions, like, 'How much is the dog worth? What kind of food does he eat? Does he have his shots?'" Ramirez said.

The family contacted police and explained they believed it was possibly a relative of someone who was working on their bathroom.

Police said they arrested 33-year-old Fernando Godoy, who is a relative of one of the people who was working on the Ramirez's bathroom.

Investigators said Godoy initially denied taking the dog but then told police he gave the dog away. Officers found Max and reunited him with the Ramirez family on Thursday.

"Relieved. I feel so much better because I know that he's safe, he's with us," Ramirez said.

The Ramirez family said they can't thank police enough.

"They did their job 100 percent, and they got him back very quickly," Ramirez said.

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