LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Meet Ryan Zachery and his lovable pit bull "Tank." The two were recently reunited more than 8 months after someone - believe it or not - was brave enough to take the dog.
"I usually keep him inside, but on this day I was in a hurry and put him on a leash outside. It was the kind of leash he couldn't get off of. I made sure he couldn't. Somebody took him," explained Ryan.
Weeks of searching turned into months, with hopes he would ever see Tank again fading.
"I put fliers out - offered money to get him back on the fliers, everything possible. I was sure I would never see him again," said Ryan.
Then a call last week from Calcasieu Animal Services. "My girlfriend actually answered the call and called and told me, 'I've got some great news for you,'" recalled Ryan.
Tank had been found and connected to Ryan through a microchip embedded in his skin... And though some time had passed - a dog never forgets his master:
"I mean he knew who I was. He smelled me. Jumped on me licked me in my face and he rolled over on his belly because I always scratched his belly. So I started scratching him... I mean I was surprised he was still the same dog," said Ryan.
With the exception of a few minor injuries and nearly 20 pounds lighter, Ryan knows it could have been much worse. In fact, Animal Services knows Tank wasn't forced to fight like most stolen pits, but forced to breed. How do they know this?
"A few hours after I picked him up, a person came up there and said he was looking for his dog and they was just like well it's not your dog, the rightful owner just came up here and picked him up and they found out the guy had studded him twice and has puppies for him," said Ryan.
The man is now under investigation and charges could follow. Meanwhile life for Tank is getting back to normal. Finally home - thanks to technology Ryan highly recommends: "Definitely get the chip. I mean I gave up on him. I mean 8 months later the only reason I have him is because of that chip."
Ryan says an investigation is underway by Calcasieu Animal Services. And he could get ownership of the puppies fathered by Tank. Meanwhile for more information on how to get your pet micro chipped call Animal Services at 721-3730.