It wasn't hard to see how happy Fluffy was after being reunited with his owner at the Boynton Beach Police Department Monday.
A vigorously wagging tail and barrage of licks to the face is what greeted Rosalia Vieira when she got back her dog after several weeks of not knowing where he was. Police said the pooch, a Shih Tzu/Maltese mix, was sold on Craigslist by the woman who was supposed to be a pet-sitter.
"He was crazy, licking all my face, giving a kiss," said Vieira. "It was so cute, I was very happy and emotional, I was shaking."
Vieira said police woke her up at 2 a.m. with a phone call telling her the good news. About an hour later, Fluffy was back in her arms.
The news wasn't as good for Shamari Patrick, 23, who has no fixed address, and was arrested Sunday. She was found at a motel on Federal Highway and taken to the Palm Beach County Jail, Boynton Beach Police said.
Patrick, who also used the alias "Keyana Morales," told detectives she sold Fluffy at the Tiki Hut motel about three weeks ago to an unknown woman from Wellington, according to police.
Vieira had left Fluffy in the care of Patrick, a "dogsitter" she found on Craigslist, before attending her son's wedding in Brazil. When she got back on Aug. 3, the woman and Fluffy were gone.
"I'm glad the lady is in jail, behind bars. We cannot trust people in this world anymore," Vieira said.
Police detective Brent Joseph tracked down the woman who bought the dog from Patrick. The woman told the detective she responded to Patrick's Craigslist ad on July 18 and paid $300 for the dog Patrick named Maverick.
The woman added she didn't know the dog was stolen and that Patrick told her she was selling the dog because she could no longer take care of him.
Joseph brought the dog back to the police department where Fluffy was later reunited with his family.
As for next time she's going out of the country, Vieira said she's going to avoid Craigslist and just get a ticket for Fluffy too.
"It's a happy ending," Vieira said. "I'm really happy with my dog."
Patrick faces a grand theft charge and is held in Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.
Staff writer Michael Turnbell contributed to this report,
firstname.lastname@example.org, 561-243-6607 or Twitter and Instagram @adamsacasaCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun