SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) --The search for a dog, abducted from a park, had a happy ending Thursday night. It was a frantic day of worry for its owner -- he's in a wheelchair and depends on the toy poodle as a service dog.
The anxious moments disappeared the second Arthur Renowitzky was reunited with his dog named Love.
"I'm 100 percent sure this is Love, huh Love," he said while giving his beloved poodle a kiss.
Renowitzky, a motivational speaker, spends most of his time working to bring an end to youth violence. The Life Goes On Foundation is the nonprofit organization he started in 2007 after he was shot point-blank during a robbery in which his assailant made off with his wallet and $20 bucks. The injury left him paralyzed from the waist down. Through it all his companion, a tiny light brown toy poodle, was there.
"She's my companion dog," he said. "She's been with me through everything. I do a lot of activism and speak out with my organization, 'Life Goes On.' She comes with me to hospitals."
But someone snatched Love while he was busy getting out of his car at Marina Park in San Leandro. It sparked a 24-hour ordeal that involved news coverage, a Twitter campaign, and a Hollywood movie star.
The hunt to find the toy poodle inspired NCIS actress Pauley Perrette to offer a $5,000 reward.
On Thursday morning she tweeted, "People! This is my friend @AR510 Stolen service Dog. $5000 reward from me #BringBackLove PLEASE RT."
Once the stolen service dog was found, she tweeted, "WE GOT HER! #BringBackLove is with her daddy @AR510 THANK YOU ALL! GOD BLESS YOU!"
Renowitzky met the actress at a charity event in Los Angeles after he was shot. The two have remained friends.
"And I saw this guy on the news," said Good Samaritan Daymond Dixon. "And that's when I called my auntie and told her we have to take this guy his dog,"
Dixon, a disabled garbage truck driver, says his aunt, Ettie Carter, recently lost her dog after it was hit by a car. He was approached by a man and woman at a Walmart in Oakland. He paid $375 for what he thought was a puppy.
"We were hoping, all the way here, that it wasn't his dog," said Dixon. "Because my auntie kind of fell in love with this dog."
"I grew to love him," said Carter through tears. "This is hard for me."
Dixon turned down the reward money, and even refused when Renowitzky offered to reimburse him the money Dixon paid for the dog.