Police said the Yorkie-Shih Tzu mix belonging to Marissa Mabanag was taken Monday and returned to the girl after a woman in a Target parking lot in Los Banos gave the dog to a mother and her family Wednesday night, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
"This shows that when a community stands together and good people do something like this great things can happen," said Marie Mabanag, Marissa's mother. "Everyone made an amazing ending for us. This is something that we're never going to forget."
Blanca Del Real said she was in the Target parking lot with her 3- and 6-year-old children when a woman approached them with the dog and asked if she wanted to take him. The woman told Del Real she had found the dog wandering in the area.
Del Real said she saw an online news report about the dog Thursday and quickly realized it was the same puppy.
"I was glad to get the little girl her dog back," Del Real said. "But my little girl was crying so hard. I told her we could get her another dog."
Del Real received a $6,000 reward from the San Jose Police Officers Association, the San Jose Fire Fighters Local 230 and San Jose City Council member Ash Kalra.
Marissa offered Del Real the contents of her piggy bank, several hundred dollars, but the woman gave the girl her money back.