Missing dog reunited with family minutes before Christmas

RONKONKOMA, Long Island (WABC) -- The 11-year-old Shih Tzu named Bella vanished from the family's backyard in Ronkonkoma last week.

Officials say a delivery driver found Bella, and even though she was chipped and wearing ID tags, she wasn't returned.

Family and friends of the Feliciano's fanned out across the neighborhood desperate to find the dog.

Fortuna Feliciano said, "I cried a lot. I, I've never cried this way. I felt like I lost my child. I felt like she may be in danger."

While searching the neighborhood, Feliciano got a phone call from an Amazon deliveryman who claimed he found Bella and gave her to a neighbor who promised to return Bella to them but the neighbor never did.

Feliciano called the police and the Suffolk County SPCA got involved.

"It's part of their family, and the kids were very distraught, very upset," Captain Paul Llobell, Suffolk SPCA said, "It was the Christmas season for God sakes, so it was, you know, it was very disturbing."

Llobell said some aspects of the story didn't add up.

A tip led them to Bella and an arrest in the case is expected.

Bella was reunited with her family two minutes before midnight on Christmas Day.

Feliciano says, "That reunion was as if somebody gave me my heart back,"

Feliciano said that she promised her children that Bella would return, and they never lost hope.

Mateo Feliciano, said, "I was so surprised. I was so happy she was home with me."

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