Owner of “free” abandoned dog comes forward

Libby was found by Shannon Bettencourt on July 3 in Benicia with the word “Free” written on the sides of her body and “I need a home” scrawled on her head. (Photo credit: KTVU)

Last week, DogTime reported onLibby, the dog found abandoned in Benecia, California with the words “free” and “I need a home” written on her body in permanent marker. Local bartender Shannon Bettencourt discovered Libby in front of a Chinese restaurant July 3 and brought the scared pooch home with her.

“It’s hard to imagine what somebody was thinking when they did that,” Bettencourt tells KTVU.

After taking care of Libby for several days, Bettencourt decided to keep the sweet dog.

“Somebody just kind of treated her like trash but she ended up being my treasure,” she explains.

But according to Yahoo! News, the dog’s owner has now come forward to reclaim her pet. Benicia police say the Yolo County woman proved ownership with numerous photographs, vet records, and even had a witness vouch for her.

While police initially planned to charge the woman with animal cruelty for abandonment, NBC Bay Area reports that police no longer believe the dog’s owner had anything to do with how the dog was found. The dog’s owner says her pet somehow escaped from her yard earlier this month, and she says she has no idea how the pup ended up in Benicia.

When the woman saw her dog on the news and learned what had happened, Benicia Police Department Lieutenant Mike Greene tells the Los Angeles Times, she rushed to the station to reclaim her lost dog. Lt. Greene says the reunion was quite touching.

“The owner was very happy,” he says. “It was obvious the owner cared for the dog.”

Meanwhile, rescuer Shannon Bettencourt is reportedly heartbroken to give up Libby, the dog she saved and hoped to adopt, according to the Times.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, NBC Bay Area, Yahoo! News, KTVU