A family left its dog, Button, in the care of a pet sitter over Thanksgiving. But while they were out of town, they got the call every dog owner fears.
Button escaped from the pet sitter's backyard and was missing.
Sarah Lee and her family put up fliers all over their Long Beach, California, neighborhood, hoping someone would find Button and bring him home.
As it turns out, someone in the neighborhood did find Button, but decided not to return him.
An anonymous text message recently sent to Daniel, the person who was watching Button, informs him that Button had been found. The stranger finally chose to send the text because he (or she) knew the family might still be "aching about him."
Since then, Lee created a Facebook post about Button's disappearance that has been shared more than 11,000 times, including on the Lakewood and Long Beach Lost and Found Pets page.
The thieves even sent a photo of Button in what is presumably his new home.
The dog thief had apparently seen how much his daughter loved the dog, so he told her they could keep him. The family even changed Button's name.
"To add insult to injury, he included the fact that Button now has a new name," Lee wrote on Facebook. "Furthermore, this text message was sent anonymously so the sender cannot be traced."
The thief apologized for not returning the dog, but assured them that he would be "loved and cared for."
The Dodo reached out to the Long Beach Police Department, but it was unclear if a complaint had yet been filed. Lee had written in a Facebook post that she planned to file a complaint this week.
At least a couple of commenters have suggested that the text could be a hoax, and that the accompanying image of Button is Photoshopped.
Either way, Button is still missing, and it's a terrible situation. If you have any information about Button, you can contact the Long Beach Police Department here, or Sarah Lee directly.
We hope you make it home safe, Button.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.