The strange saga of Kato the kidnapped 7-year-old bull terrier has ended with the discovery of the dog in Georgia 650 miles away. Back in January, he disappeared from a Maryland farm in an apparent break-in.
"We felt like it was a dream at first, because he's been gone so long," said Marie Emmerich, Kato's owner.
The Emmerich family posted huge hand painted signs on Maryland's Solomons Island Road and flooded social media with appeals for the return of Kato, who was apparently snatched by someone who entered the farm house on January 26th.
In previous incidents, Kato would turn up after what the family believes were suspicious late night drop-offs.
This time, Kato stayed missing despite the offer of a $2,000 reward.
However, September 12th, the family received an email from a family in Georgia who reported they had found Kato wandering on a road at least three months ago.
The family had no apparent connections to Maryland.They told the Emmerichs they learned the dog was Kato after scouring the internet and seeing previous reports of a stolen bull terrier.
The Emmerichs paid an undisclosed reward and Kato was picked up by a family member and driven home to Maryland last week where his identity was confirmed by an embedded chip under his skin.
"It seems fishy," Marie Emmerich said.
The family says they are no longer keeping Kato at the farm and they will not disclose where he is living for fear of being victimized again.