Recovered: Group says they found dog stolen from adoption drive

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Organizers for the Lowcountry Animal Rescue say they have recovered the dog that had apparently been stolen on Saturday at an adoption drive.

The group announced on Facebook Sunday afternoon that Samson was in good health and back in the custody of organizers.{}

Tracking down Samson Sunday afternoon all started with a tip.{}

"The tip came in, it seemed very genuine to us," said shelter director Joy Davis. "We called the police and followed through with that, and it resulted in the return of the dog to the rescue."{}

The relief was visible on Davis' face as she and other volunteers watched Samson race around a North Charleston dog park Sunday afternoon. Samson's happiness was obvious, too.{}

But 24 hours earlier, it was a different story.{}

"When something like this happens, I know none of us got any sleep last night. You're emotionally invested and it rips your heart right out of your chest," Davis said.

Someone stole Samson, a rescued pit bull, during a pet adoption event at the PetCo in North Charleston on Saturday. According to officials at the Lowcountry Animal Rescue, someone walked Samson out of his cage around 3:30 p.m. Saturday after asking to see the dog.

Surveillance video shows the person leading the dog away on a leash.

Davis feared the worst.{}

Samson spent the last eight months in foster care recovering from wounds he received as a bait dog, Davis said. When Samson first came to them, he had broken bones, infected bite wounds, and heartworms.{}

Through all that, Davis said Samson has remained a lovable dog, sleeping most nights at the foot of his foster mom's bed.

Now he's ready for adoption. That's why he was at the North Charleston PetCo and how he disappeared.{}

Now the efforts turn back to sending Samson to a good, loving home.{}

"It's not easy to find a home for a pit bull. Not everybody wants one. As lovable and wonderful as a dog that he is, people tend to be a little nervous about that breed," Davis said.

Organizers and volunteers raised more {}that $1,000 in reward money to have him returned.

Davis said adoption event organizers are going to take extra precautions at the next event and have already made plans to change their policies to protect the dogs.{}

If you are interested in adopting Samson or any other animals, call Lowcountry Animal Rescue at{}843-343-8063.