A dog that went missing in Saint John earlier this week amidst online allegations of abuse and neglect has been reunited with its owners.
Elad Shalom says he got a tip on Facebook about where his Alaskan Malamute, Tara, was located.
He went to the home with police and found his dog inside, he said.
Shalom says he will not pursue charges against the culprit and will still donate $1,000 to the New Brunswick SPCA, as he had promised if Tara was returned by Friday afternoon.
Tara disappeared from Shalom's west side home on Tuesday, after someone had posted a photo of the dog's outdoor crate and leash on Facebook, alleging she was left outside too much and mistreated.
Several posts had threatened to remove her from her owners.
Shalom, who only moved to Saint John from Israel three months ago to work as an IT consultant, said the Facebook photo was brought to his attention by email, after he had posted a missing dog ad on Kijiji.
He then created his own Facebook page, pleading for Tara's safe return. He said Tara was loved and well cared for and posted several photos and videos of the family's pet.
Although the New Brunswick SPCA had been called to the house several times, officials determined no abuse was taking place, Shalom said.
Keeping Tara out overnight is not neglect because she's an Alaskan Malamute, with a heavy coat and is meant to be outdoors, he said.
"Basically, Alaskan Malamutes, up until minus 15, minus 20 Celsius degrees, they don't need any blankets, or any shelter. Back in Israel, because it was 35 degrees above zero, which is extremely hot, she was inside 24/7," Shalom said.
Alaskan Malamutes are commonly used as Arctic sled dogs, according to the American Kennel Club website.
They have a "coarse outer coat and dense, wooly, oily undercoat, providing the ultimate in insulation," the Animal Planet website states.
Shalom said the theft was most difficult on his three-year-old son.
"Every night before he goes to sleep 'we didn't feed Tara,' because we feed her twice a day — morning before he goes to the daycare, and evening, just before we eat supper — and [he says,] 'Where's Tara? She's probably hungry,'" he had said.
His son also asked every night about brushing Tara's teeth.
"We brush her teeth every evening, otherwise he won't brush his teeth, so we have to brush Tara's teeth first. So half the time he's not willing to brush his teeth because Tara's not there."
Shalom says the family is planning to move to a permanent home in Millidgeville next month and has a fence ready to install for Tara.