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Escaped dog running wild leads woman to body of his dead owner

Escaped dog running wild leads woman to body of his dead owner

Locals had seen the German shepherd running around the neighborhood

A California woman was left stunned when a dog which had been running wild led her to the body of his dead owner.

Residents in a neighborhood in Sacramento had been informed about the German shepherd running around in a number of online posts warning of the loose animal.

Local woman Catherine DeFazio was among those who had seen the posts, so recognized the dog when she saw him from her front porch.

Speaking to KCRA 3, DeFazio described how the German shepherd 'ran right by' her on the street.

“I’m like, ‘No, don’t go to the street. Don’t,’” she recalled. “And he went right there in the bushes about three feet from the walkway."

Saying she '[couldn't] believe' it, DeFazio recalled how the dog looked up from the bushes and yelped.

"He just, like, looked me like that in my eyes..." she said.

Concerned, the woman took a closer look at the area where the dog had been standing.

DeFazio added: "I looked over, and I’m like, 'there’s no way there’s a dead body'... I walked here and there he was."

Catherine DeFazio realized the dog belonged to the dead man.

DeFazio said she immediately called police to notify them of the body, which was then taken in by the authorities.

The coroner’s office determined the man had been dead for a week. DeFazio suggested he may have been experiencing homelessness prior to his death.

“I started putting 2 and 2 together," DeFazio said. "I knew I never seen that dog before, and I realized it was his."

“When you’re out there lonely or you’re by yourself, an animal’s everything to you," she added.

DeFazio hadn't caught the German shepherd at the time, but after finding the man's body she made it her mission to rescue the loose dog.

“I propped up with dark clothes on in the bushes and literally with the flashlights. And I’m like, I can do this. If anyone can do it, I could do it,” she said.

DeFazio spent two weeks trying to find him, working with two other women in the process.

The German shepherd will be put up for adoption.

Nicole Hartman, who works with several dog rescues, described the dog as being 'healthy' and in 'good shape'.

“He’s sweet as can be. But he’s crying for his owner. He wants his owner. And that’s obviously not happening now,” she added.

Hartman said the dog isn't ready for private adoption just yet, but he will be in a few weeks.

“Give me 30 days,” she said. “He’s going to be a whole different dog. Right now, he’s sad. He’s depressed. He’s crying. He’s not eating. He’s not drinking. I think he finally peed. But it’s going to take him a good week to decompress.”

DeFazio is thankful that the women were able to find a safe place for the dog, expressing belief that he was 'grateful' when he was found.

"I felt like the dog did take me to [his owner]. And all I could do is be respectful and preserve his honor, whether he was homeless, chose to be or not,” she said.

Featured Image Credit: WBTV

Topics: Animals, Life, US News, Dogs