HOUSTON (KTRK) --A puppy named Sasha has had a lot of ups and downs in her brief life -- less-than-ideal living conditions, turned in to a shelter with her litter-mates and mom.
In a short life with little hope, Sasha and her family were saved by Almost Home Pet Rescue. Sasha and her brother, Noodle, found a happy foster home offered by Leanne Watkins.
The purpose of a foster home is to socialize, care for and love an animal, preparing for a forever family. In Sasha's case, Watkins transformed her from a two pound, underweight puppy to one that's now 10 pounds, in the space of three months.
Saturday, Watkins took her to a rescue adoption event at a PetSmart in the Katy area. She kissed her, said a prayer for a loving adoptive home, and dropped her off. A few hours later, she got a call from a rescue group, telling her that Sasha was gone and had been stolen.
Someone is believed to have taken her from her kennel cage and walked out with her. Adoption events are often busy, with interested adoption applicants, mixed with the usual retail traffic. She vanished in the midst of all that.
"My big fear is that someone took her for a terrible purpose," Watkins said.
She and the rescue quickly posted alerts and appeals on Facebook, offering a reward and no questions asked for the safe return of the puppy.
For 24 hours, nothing. But then came Sunday.
"People thought a teenage girl took her," she said. That was about the extent of the leads, until a picture was posted on Snapchat. It was a puppy, that looked like the missing up, but with the trademark rescue collar.
It had found by a member of another pet rescue. Contact was made with the girl and her family, and Sasha was retrieved today. True to their word, no charges are being pressed against the girl.
"I was told she said she did it to save her from going to a shelter where she might be euthanized," Watkins said. The girl didn't know that's the fate from which Sasha was likely saved by going into a foster home.
"It was the best possible outcome," she said. "She was loved on and cared for by the girl, but the way she went about it was wrong."
Sasha is back with Noodle, her brother at Watkins Memorial-area home, happily playing with her squeaky toy and dozing on a couch.
With a nod to Beyonce', she is named for "Sasha Fierce."
"She is strong, a survivor, and she has quite a story to tell." It's a contrast to the name "Faye" given as her rescue program name," Watkins said.
Sasha is still looking for a 'forever home.' Watkins said if one is found, she'll keep in touch with the person who adopts her. "I don't want to lose her again."
Interested in adoption? Check out Almost Home Pet Rescue on Facebook.