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Pet detective work reunites girl with lost dog

CONYERS - Remember how the classic movie character Ace Ventura, played by the legendary funny-man Jim Carey, would disguise himself as a postal worker or some other character all to retrieve a lost or stolen pet and return it to its rightful owners?

Well, the Conyers Police Department (CPD) took a page out of the Ace Ventura movie script when two of its detectives helped to recover a lost puppy, named Rocket, for a family that lives in Buckhead, Georgia.

Rocket, a French bulldog, ran away from his Buckhead home last week and was found by "a couple of guys" who live in Conyers, says CPD spokeswoman Kim Lucas.

"They thought the dog was a stray," she said.

Rocket's rightful owners had posted a $500 reward listing on Craigslist if someone returned Rocket to them. The family had owned the dog for about six months.

It wasn't long before a woman contacted the family and told them "I think someone is trying to sell your dog on Craigslist," says Lucas. Two days after finding the dog, the guys were selling Rocket for $600.

"You could tell by the snout and the coloration it was the same dog," said Lucas.

Rocket had no identification on his dog collar when he ran away.

So, the family contacted Atlanta Police Department (APD) which in turn contacted CPD to inform them about the situation.

On Monday, the owners drove to CPD headquarters, 1194 Scott St., Conyers, with pictures to prove they were the owners of Rocket.

After confirmation was made, Detectives Brad Henderson and Melissa Stanton posed as buyers for the dog and contacted the guys, who told authorities they had just graduated high school. Once at the agreed upon purchase location the detectives were able to recover Rocket.

The "guys," who had no criminal history weren't charged in the incident.

"They didn't steal the dog," said Lucas. "They said they were trying to recoup the amount they spent on the dog."

The dog sellers told authorities they only bought food in the two days they had Rocket in their possession. "I can't imagine what they spent $600 on in two days," she said.

While this incident was not a case of dog flipping, an act where people steal dogs only to sell them, Lucas says people should take safety precautions to make sure their pet doesn't become a victim.

She recommends getting a pet microchip, which can be used to track the animal, implanted in the dog and making sure the dog has identification on its collar at all times.