A pug puppy that was supposed to be delivered to a 7-year-old girl sick with leukemia on Christmas but was instead kept by the woman in charge of delivering it has been retrieved by police.
Riverside, California resident Shawna Hamon purchased a pug after hearing about a sick girl's condition and her desire for a pug for Christmas. Hamon entrusted an acquaintance to deliver the puppy to the girl in Sacramento, according to a statement from the Riverside Police Department.
But the puppy never arrived.
Police said Hamon sent an animal delivery service and an attorney to the acquaintance's Los Angeles home, but the woman refused to give the dog back. Hamon eventually filed a police report and a search warrant was served in the 3900 block of Edenhurst Avenue, officials said.
The dog wasn't found at the residence. Police said they searched several other locations and eventually found the pug at a house in the 5500 block of Carlton Way.
Officers learned later that the woman somehow found out about the dog search and left the puppy at a neighbor's house before their arrival, police said.
Officer Anthony Watkins retrieved the dog and gave it back to Hamon, officials said.
The child, currently receiving experimental treatment in Philadelphia will now have the dog hand-delivered by Hamon herself, police said.
Watkins is working with the Riverside County District Attorney's Office in pursuing potential theft charges.
NBC 4, California