Many people would go out of their way to help save a dog when it was struggling. There are other people who would take things to an entirely new level to help even a four-legged stranger.
One of those individuals who would go the extra mile is Alyssa Sanford. According to PEOPLE, she was out one day when she noticed a dog that she had seen on Facebook. After recognizing the dog and knowing that it had been stolen, she decided to give chase.
Sanford continued to run on foot and even drove her car in order to catch up with the person who had stolen the dog. All in all, she had spent 35 minutes chasing the dog thief, and even though she is only 5’3″ tall, the 34-year-old is a giant and a hero.
After running down the dog thief, she had a conversation with her boyfriend. She started off by saying that she did something that wasn’t exactly the smartest thing, and he called it the worst start to a story.
According to the Dallas Observer, she said: “I said, ‘There might be a thing on Facebook about it already posted.’ I kind of left out the part about being barefoot and hopping in a car with a strange couple. He got the gist of it. In the end of it, he was proud of me but not happy about the way I went about it.”
Sanford had seen the Facebook post about Wiley the night before. Wiley is a 95-pound Chesapeake/chocolate lab mix that is six years old. He was at a bench outside of Trader Joe’s the night before when he disappeared. His owners were shopping at the time.
Angela Ream and her husband were desperate to find the dog. They went door-to-door for 24 hours, posting flyers and trying to get anyone involved that could give them information leading to being able to find their beloved dog again.
They had left the dog outside at what the store refers to as a “dog dock” but when she came back out, the dog was gone.
Ream said: “The thing that I kept thinking was, ‘This is my fault. I’m the one who brought her here.’ It’s not like she got out of the back yard or ran away. I did this. She’s not going to fight someone who takes her. She’s too kind. That was the worst thing, facing the possibility of losing my baby girl combined with the fact that this is no one’s fault but mine.”
Ream had a suspicion that Wiley was stolen. She knew that the dog doesn’t typically go anywhere when he gets loose and she thought that at worst, Wiley would come inside Trader Joe’s to find her. Considering the fact that the leash was also gone, she thought that he may have been stolen.
As the Dallas Observer reports, the police had come by that evening and saw her crying and they took a full report. They also let her know multiple times that evening that they were looking for the dog.
As far as Sanford is concerned, she was driving in the area and saw the dog that look like Wiley wearing a bright orange collar. A man was holding the dog at a bus stop.
She did a circle, pulled into the parking lot, and grabbed her keys and phone. She left everything else in the car and after walking by the man and looking carefully at the dog, she decided to confront him.
She said: “I probably didn’t do the smartest thing. I just walked up to him and said, ‘That dog’s stolen. You need to give it back.’ He was like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ I said, ‘You took that dog last night at Trader Joe’s. Give me the leash.’
When she reached for the leash, he got angry and jerked it out of her hand. Sanford admits that she’s not one to lose an argument so she chased him on foot down the street for half an hour through neighborhoods. He really didn’t stand a chance because she trains for triathlons.
While Sanford was running, she called the police and at this point, some men that were working at a Goodwill drop-off were also joining in on the chase. They ended up catching up with the man and got Wiley away from him. Sanford then found the owner’s number and called her and she came rushing over.
They weren’t able to arrest the man because nobody had seen him steal the dog and they thought it would be difficult to press charges. Wiley was very happy to see his owner again and has not left her side since.