Strangers both claim missing dog belongs to them

YONKERS, New York (WABC) -- A man from Yonkers lost his beloved dog until police in the Bronx found it. But when he showed up to claim his pet, a woman also turned up saying the dog belonged to her.

Paul Carmody said he got Lili with his wife Ester months before she died from cancer in 2017.

"We just adored her, she slept with us at the end of me and my wife's bed, we took her everyplace," Carmody said. "Lili was my only companion for several months going into December, I took her on walks almost every day."

But Lili now actually has two owners -- Paul and Elizabeth -- and this is a tale of great loss and tremendous generosity.

"She knew I was the owner, I patted her on the back and said please, don't worry, we'll work this out," Carmody said.

Just days before Christmas in 2017, thieves smashed Paul's car window and took Lili. The pup does have a microchip and Yonkers police tried to help but days turned into week then years.

"I thought somebody eventually would take her to a groomer or vet that had a scanner and she would be found that way," Carmody said.



Well just last month, NYPD Officer Joel Bonifacio of the 46 found Lili while on patrol in the Bronx.

"This male in the public walked up to us with a dog in a box stating the dog was roaming around in the lobby," Bonifacio said.

They couldn't find the owners so they took Lili to the precinct and scanned her when Paul's information popped up.

"I was just floored, couldn't believe it," he said.

Just as Paul got to the precinct, Elizabeth showed up in tears, saying her dog had just run away. That dog was Lili, who she bought from a man on the street in 2017.

Paul wasn't sure what to do, so he called a friend for advice.

"Whatever you feel is right, what your heart tells you to do and then I knew the thing to do, let the new owner have her," Paul said.

Paul says Lili seems happy with her new family and while he misses his pup, he knows she's in good hands.

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