Local News

Stolen dog spawns several good deeds

Posted August 30, 2013

— A Durham family was reunited Friday with their pet dog, Sophie, that was stolen from their home during a break-in earlier in the week. This is really a story of one bad deed spawning several good ones.

Ronald Leathers, a sixth grader at Shepherd Middle School, approached pet owner Elizabeth Newman while she was hanging flyers Thursday about her missing pup. Leathers said that he knew where to find the dog, and he led Newman to the home of a family who said they had purchased the dog.

Newman was so pleased to get Sophie back that she gave Leathers a $500 reward.

Leathers, who lost his father just two months ago, is truly a Good Samaritan. Newman accidentally left her credit card in the envelope full of cash she gave the boy. He returned it without hesitation.

Leathers mom said, “I know his dad would be proud too.” She said she wished the boy’s father could have seen the moment.

Stolen dog reunited with family Stolen dog reunited with family

Police still don’t know who stole Sophie and sold her the unsuspecting Pemberton family.
Maggie Pemberton said she paid a stranger $200 for the dog. According to Newman, Pemberton graciously gave the dog back when she came to retrieve her.

But Pemberton’s 6-year-old daughter was distraught. She had fallen in love with the Yorkie and was sad when she had to give the pup back.

That’s when another good deed finished the circle. An anonymous donor offered a Yorkie-Poo to the Pembertons to make up for their loss. The family will receive their new dog on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.


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  • 12-21-12 Aug 30, 2013


  • ssmithsand Aug 30, 2013

    Wonderful story! Since Mrs. Pemberton obviously was very close (as in face to face) to the person who sold her the dog, she should be able to give a very vivid and good description to enable the police to arrest this thief.

  • EnoughWhiningAlready Aug 30, 2013

    Oh my gosh this whole story makes me misty-eyed. I'm very happy Sophie was returned and the little girl got a puppy of her own and the little boy was handsomely rewarded for his good deed. I love stories like this!!!!!

  • Slappy171 Aug 30, 2013

    Great story!

  • Mom2two Aug 30, 2013

    Who just buys a dog for $200 from a stranger on the street? That just raises my eyebrows.

  • ginashires Aug 30, 2013

    So happy to hear that Sophie got home! What an amazing circle of events......it is good to see something like this on the news instead of the usual mayhem that makes you lose your faith in humanity.

  • dirkdiggler Aug 30, 2013

    love this chain of good deeds, kicked off by some scumbag who felt it was their right to take what does not belong to them. they could learn a lot from these folks.