NEW PORT RICHEY, (FOX 13) - John Wynne of Pasco County told FOX 13 his 2-year-old pit bull, Petey was his best friend. But Wynne says on Monday night, while he was out walking Petey and another dog near Jenner Avenue and Seven Springs, a woman in a white car pulled up and began claiming Petey was actually her dog, Cash, who'd gone missing.
"Petey was my baby," Wynne said. "I said, 'No, I got this dog from a shelter.'"
Wynne, who is disabled, says he offered to show her proof that Petey was adopted from the SPCA in New Port Richey in July of last year. Before that happened, however, the woman took off with the dog.
"It's terrible. I wouldn't wish this on worst enemy," said Beverly Wynne, John's mother, adding a plea for her son's dog to be returned.
"Just bring me the dog back, that's all," she told FOX 13 on Tuesday.
In an unusual twist, FOX 13 was contacted that same day by the woman claiming to be the original owner. She wouldn't give her name but said Petey -- or Cash -- got loose back in August 2016 and she's been looking for him ever since.
"I feel extremely bad about it. I feel grateful to these people for caring for him. He was well cared-for but he was rightfully mine," she told us.
"Why not go through the police process, explain what happened, rather than take the dog?" we asked her.
She replied, "I was going to, but when my dog broke off the leash and ran to me, I couldn't just leave without my dog."
It seemed Petey would resume his former life with his original owner, but Tuesday night, deputies recovered Petey from the woman's home and returned him to the Wynnes.
Deputies say the woman is recovering. The case is still on-going and has been turned over to the State Attorney's Office.