MOLINE, Ill. – After months of searching, an Illinois family has their missing Siberian husky, Feather, back - all thanks to a stranger's Facebook message.
"It's not real," Briana Martin told WQAD. "I'm still kind of in shock that she's here."
Martin said Feather was stolen right out of her backyard in September of last year.
"When he went out 30 minutes later to check on her, she was gone," Martin said.
After searching nonstop, the family had almost given up on ever seeing her again, when Martin got a message on Facebook from a mechanic shop in Davenport.
"He messaged me and said [his] parents stole her out of my backyard," Martin said.
She said she originally thought the man messaging her stole Feather.
"I was very shocked," Martin said. "I just kind of stared at my phone for a second and said 'What?' Once I got my bearings, I said, 'Okay, what's their name? What's their address? Where can I find them?'"
The address was for a home 88 miles away in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
After receiving the new details, officers at the East Moline Police Department contacted police in Cedar Rapids. Those officers went to that address and found Feather there. The Martins picked up Feather hours later and brought her home.
Martin is now pressing criminal charges.
"You are looking at grand theft in some cases," she said. "Animals are not cheap, and you could go to jail. Be willing to pay that price if you want to take an animal."
But, in the meantime, this family makes up for lost time.
"I wish I could know what's gone on with her in the past six months, where she's been, what she's done, how she liked her first snow, but she'll just be with us forever," Martin said.
She met with East Moline detectives on Monday to find out what the next steps are.
WQAD did reach out to the man who messaged her with the details about Feather. He said he is happy he could help reunite them. The man's father, who allegedly stole Feather, did not respond to requests for comment.