LAWRENCEVILLE - "Rocky" is back.
The tiny pooch - a furry little guy that's part beagle and Chihuahua, at least - was lifted from an adoption event in October. In his absence, Alcovy Pet Rescue Inc., a local nonprofit, called on the media for help.
But the break the group needed came Monday, when a volunteer stumbled on a Petfinder.com posting and - lo! - there was Rocky's unmistakable face. He'd somehow made it to Jackson County, northwest of Athens.
Alcovy director Yvonne Miller suspects the 4-month-old dog was dumped somewhere in northeast Georgia, after a young couple reportedly ran off with him during an Oct. 27 adoption at a Lawrenceville PetSmart.
The couple - a tall black male and a white female with short hair, both in their late teens or early 20s - had inquired about adopting Rocky shortly before he disappeared. They have not been identified.
Miller contacted the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and was able to retrieve the dog Monday. She declined to press charges against Rocky's latest owners, who claimed to find him around Banks County.
"We're very happy," Miller said. "We're just happy to have him back."
The dog was not injured and seemed well-fed - although someone had amputated his tail, said Miller.
She fears Rocky's captors mistook him for a Rottweiler pup - modifying his tail accordingly - and dumped him when they realized their error.
"He hasn't gotten a whole lot bigger," she said. "He acts the same - just like he did before he left us."
The dognapping has spurred changes in Alcovy's procedures.
The organization staffs its adoptions with more volunteers now. Prospective adopters can't handle dogs until they've filled out applications and Alcovy officials have verified their identity, said Miller.
Rocky will be up for adoption following a two-week quarantine.