Paralyzed man overjoyed to be reunited with stolen dog

Paralyzed man's stolen dog is returned home

BRIDGEPORT, CT (WABC/CNN) - A Connecticut man is now back with his beloved therapy dog after it was stolen.

Frank Casanovas, who is paralyzed, went six long days without his Princess, an 8-year-old rat terrier who is much more than just his dog.

"I'm very, very attached to that dog. She means a lot to me now,” he said.

Princess was stolen last Saturday.

Surveillance video showed a woman scoop up the dog half a block away from Casanovas’ house.

The 55-year-old was paralyzed in a 1982 car accident that killed three family members.

Since then he's suffered health issues that have left him with a pacemaker.

He considers Princess a therapy dog of sorts who senses when something is wrong.

"I got sick. Short of breath and all that. She knew that was wrong,” he said.

A family friend said that because of the accident, he was never able to have kids. She said the dog is his kid.

For a week friends and family put up flyers, and promised to take Princess back, no questions asked.

But there were no developments until late this week.

Jalillhia Dennis found Princess a few blocks away, presumably left on the street by the person who dog-napped her.

She called Casanovas.

"It made me feel like I did a good thing,” she said. “That’s a life and death situation for a little puppy."

Casanovas said he was speechless.

“It took a week but it worked, man,” he said of the effort to find Princess.

It’s more than just a feel-good story, though. Family members said they believe that finding Princess may have saved Casanovas’ life.

"Anything, anything could have killed him. You know, him worrying too much, or him crying too much, out of breath because of him being too stressed,” a family friend said.

She said she told Dennis she was a hero.

Casanovas said he will pay her a small reward.

He also vowed to get Princess a collar and tags in the off chance he ever lets her out of his sight.

Copyright 2019 WABC via CNN. All rights reserved.