MAYWOOD, N.J. -- She was a little beaten up and lost quite a bit of weight, but a pit bull stolen from a Maywood family a week and a half earlier was finally returned on Tuesday.
Barely six months old, Luna is "skinny and a little skittish," Tracey Zottarelli told Daily Voice. "But we are crying tears of joy for her return."
The story of Luna's abduction dominated local social media and sent police to various locations, including Garfield and even Allentown, PA, based on evidence that the Zottarelli family might have known the dognapper.
Zottarelli's son, Matthew, and three other people were arrested weeks earlier when borough police, responding to neighborhood complaints, raided a home he shared with one of them.
Police reported finding Xanax, Ecstasy, LSD, pot and amphetamines, along with other drugs and drug-packaging materials.
That case is still pending.
Nothing else was taken when Luna was snatched from Matthew Zottarelli's apartment while he was at work on May 12, in what police described only as a burglary.
They couldn't immediately be reached for comment after Luna's return on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, a caller said he'd found the young pooch in Bergenfield.
The discovery location then changed to Englewood, for some reason.
The caller "said they'd been taking good care of her," Tracey Zottarelli told Daily Voice. "He said he got on Facebook and saw a missing flyer for Luna and said that she looks similar.
"He said he would like me to come over after he got out of work to see if it was her," Zottarelli said.
Zottarelli said she asked for a photo or video.
She then gave the caller's number to her son, who went to pick up Luna with two other men.
"My son called me and said, 'Mom, I got Luna'," she told Daily Voice late Tuesday afternoon. "I said, 'Praise God. Are you OK'?
"He started to cry and said, 'Mom, she wasn't being taken care of. She is so skinny.' She had a cone on her head and her ears were cut."
That's OK for now.
"Our baby is back!" Tracey Zottarelli said.
Family members were at the Maywood police station sorting out the details Tuesday afternoon. Then it was on to the vet.
Whether or not a $2,000 reward that was offered for Luna's safe return would be paid remained uncertain for the time being.
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