An adorable little orange dog was discovered earlier this week outside a Chinese restaurant in Benicia with the words "free" written in black permanent marker on both sides of her body and "I need a home" written on her forehead, and this quickly made local TV news broadcasts because: obviously.

As it turns out, no cruel owner had vandalized their own dog and left it outside a Chinese restaurant, but in fact the dog was stolen from its rightful owner in Yolo County for reasons that aren't really clear, as the LA Times reporting. (And, obviously, this story has statewide relevance.)

Luckily for the dog's owner, the story got all that news play, because she recognized her dog and immediately rushed 50 miles to the Benicia Police Station to reclaim the animal. She says the dog went missing during a yard sale on June 28, and either ran off or was stolen. The permanent marker aspect leads one to believe that the dog made it into unsavory hands for a couple of days, and then perhaps they got tired of feeding her.

Sadly, for the dog's temporary guardian, Benicia resident Shannon Bettencourt, she had grown attached to the dog after finding her scared and whimpering outside the Chinese restaurant on July 3.

This concludes your dog-related human-interest moment for this Friday. Carry on.

[LA Times]