Justice Rescue Members Meet The Dog They Helped Save

Justice Rescue Members Meet The Dog They Helped Save

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VINELAND, N.J. -

Katie is one lucky dog. Thanks to media attention, some dedicated volunteers and police, a beloved family pet is back home where she belongs. But police are looking for your help to find the man who they say stole a little boy's best friend.

Last week FOX 29 told you the story of how someone swiped 22-month-old Frankie Torres' best buddy in the world. His dog was a terrier mix named Katie.

"I just can't imagine the type of person that…this thought would even cross their minds," says Nicolette Torres, Frankie's mother.

The dog, bowl and all, were stolen from the family's Vineland home. The crook also swiped a flat screen TV and laptop computer.

"My son grew up with her. I have a million pictures that were on the laptop that was also stolen," Frank Torres told FOX 29 after his dog was stolen.

News of the family's story quickly spread on social media. There were thousands of shares and likes on the FOX 29 Facebook page. The Delaware County-based Justice Rescue heard about the case and decided to go into action. Justice rescue is a non-profit group that helps abused animals. They immediately posted a thousand-dollar reward for information on Katie. Then a tip came.

"Who would have known what her fate would have been if we didn't get her," says "Wolf," a member of Justice Rescue.

Justice Rescue helped police identify the suspect. They say 41-year-old Gader Vega had been spotted with the dog. Two search warrants later, Vineland police rescued the dog from a house less than five minutes away. Katie is now back home, the family's stuff has been recovered and little Frankie couldn't be happier.

FOX 29 was there when these so-called "dog soldiers," tough looking guys with a soft spot for animals, had the chance to meet the dog they helped rescue.

"These guys. They just now met her two minutes ago. And they worked just as hard, if not more to get her back," says Frank Torres.

"There's a lot of animal abuse out there and there's not a lot of people who can go to these types of neighborhoods and that's why we developed a group of guys like this," says "Wolf."

Now that Frankie has his buddy back, Katie's owner has this message for the man that police say took her.

"Just like I said, ‘we will get Katie back. He will be in custody.'"

Vineland Police say that if you know where Gader Vega is, please call them at 856-691-4111.

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