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Stolen puppy returned to 12-year-old girl in Flat Rock

'I was so happy,' says Leah Toth. 'She was OK and she was back.'

FLAT ROCK, Mich. – A Bullmastiff puppy named Cali that was stolen from a 12-year-old girl on her birthday this week has been returned to the family.

ORIGINAL STORY: $3,000 reward offered for 12-year-old girl’s stolen puppy in Flat Rock

Michigan State Police had been investigating the case since Tuesday and were very close to finding Cali when the story aired on Local 4. About 12 hours later, Cali had been returned.

“I was so happy,” said Leah Toth. “She was OK and she was back.”

State troopers contacted Eva Benedetti Sunday morning.

“When that phone rang at 7 a.m. and I saw his name, I knew what he was going to tell me,” Benedetti said. “We are so grateful for his hard work and dedication.”

Her first call when she got the news was to Leah, the 12-year-old who had been helping Benedetti raise her puppies all summer.

“She just started screaming,” Benedetti said. “She was so happy.”

“I was just so excited,” Leah said.

Leah rushed her parents out the door to retrieve Cali right away.

“She’s like, ‘Get dressed we have to go,' so we threw on clothes and we cried the whole way here,” said Cinnamon Toth. “We were actually so exited we passed the shop up.”

When they got to Benedetti’s, a trooper was waiting for them.

“He wouldn’t even let her out of the car until she opened the door and she got Cali out herself,” Toth said.

It was the moment Leah had been praying for,

Benedetti said MSP told them an anonymous tipster had been working with investigators for days and the puppy was found at a home in Howell.

They’re grateful to State Police and the anonymous tipster -- who refuses to accept the $3,000 reward Benedetti was offering.

“It just goes to show you there really is good people out there,” Toth said. “Whoever it is, I can’t thank them enough for helping us out and bringing Cali back to us.”

A little girl and her puppy are back together again.

“I just wanna say thank you,” Leah said.

In lieu of giving the reward, Benedetti said she will donate $1,000 to the Monroe County Animal Control in honor of an officer killed by a drunk driver in June.

Cali, a 14-week-old Bullmastiff puppy, was returned to the Toth family after being stolen on July 21, 2020.
Cali, a 14-week-old Bullmastiff puppy, was returned to the Toth family after being stolen on July 21, 2020. (WDIV)

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