Family reunited with stolen dog after stranger sends Facebook message saying his parents took her

MOLINE, Ill. – After months of searching, an Illinois family has their missing Siberian husky Feather back, all thanks to a stranger's Facebook message.

"It's not real. I'm still kind of in shock that she's here," Briana Martin told WQAD.

Briana says Feather was stolen right out of her backyard in September of last year.

"When he went out 30 minutes later to check on her, she was gone," said Martin.

After searching nonstop, the family had almost given up on ever seeing her again, when Martin got a message on Facebook from a mechanic shop in Davenport.

"He messaged me and said [his] parents stole her out of my backyard," said Martin.

She said she originally thought the man messaging her stole Feather.

"I was very shocked. I just kind of stared at my phone for a second and said 'what?' Once I got my bearings, I said 'OK, what's their name? What's their address? Where can I find them?'" said Martin.

The address was for a home 88 miles away in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

After receiving those new details, officers at the East Moline Police Department contacted police in Cedar Rapids. Those officers went to that address and found Feather there. The Martins picked up Feather hours later and brought her home.

Martin is now pressing criminal charges.

"You are looking at grand theft in some cases," Martin said. "Animals are not cheap, and you could go to jail. Be willing to pay that price if you want to take an animal."

But in the meantime, this family is making up for lost time.

"I wish I could know what's gone on with her in the past six months, where she's been, what she's done, how she liked her first snow,  but she'll just be with us forever," said Martin.

Martin met with East Moline detectives on Monday to find out what the next steps are.

WQAD reached out to the man who messaged Martin with the details about Feather. He said he is happy he could help reunite them. The man's father, who allegedly stole Feather, did not respond to requests for comment.