Surveillance video show just how quickly Valeria Karat's car was stolen while she was pumping gas at a rest area in Fairfield, after the area was hit by a snowstorm.
"Stop, stop what you're doing," she remembered screaming as the car drove away. "Give me my puppy, inside, my puppy!"
And just like that, Cindy was gone.
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"I call my detective like every day," Karat said. "What about the puppy? What about the puppy?"
She made those calls and searched multiple animal shelters for eight months, but as soon as detectives showed her a picture of a recovered puppy, she knew her prayers were answered.
"I only see inside her eye, and I say, 'This my puppy. I know this. In one second."
Connecticut State Police found Cindy in another stolen car last week, and they were happy for the reunion.
"It brought tears to my eyes, just to be honest, just to see mom and Cindy," State Police Trooper Donna Sabourin said. "Cindy, she remembered exactly who her mom was, even though she was only four months when she was taken."
And for Sabourin, the happy ending hit close to home.
"I personally am a dog lover, a dog mom," she said. "They are my babies, so to see that, it just kind of made me go home and kiss my dogs and hug them a bit tighter knowing that that could happen to me at any time."
Despite the agonizing wait, Karat says this whole experienced made her a better person.
"My soul changed," she said. "My heart changed, my brain changed, and my feelings changed."
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It's been a hard eight months for Cindy, but she is going get a much needed and well-deserved spa day very soon.
Detectives are continuing to investigate, and state police say arrests are imminent.
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