‘Stolen’ French bulldog returns home in NC months later

North Carolina news

(Courtesy of Sonja Drury via WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – A Charlotte-area French bulldog missing for six months is settling back into her home following an emotional reunion with her family.

Espresso was one of two French bulldogs that disappeared from a Mountain Island Lake home in May.

The Drury family says they let the dogs, Espresso and Nutella, out one afternoon as they always do. The family has an electrical fence around the property.

“Even if we left them out for hours, they stay just right around the area,” said Ray Drury.

“They were not in the yard, they just vanished,” Sonja Drury said.

The family started a search with support from the community and hundreds of shares on social media.

The dogs were stolen, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police report filed by the family.

“Somebody picked them up,” the family said. “Now, whether they picked them up because they thought they were lost, maybe? Whether they thought that, ‘hey these are purebred French Bulldogs and might be worth money?’”

Shortly after the dogs went missing, one of the dogs, Nutella, was returned.

“We received a phone call from a non-ID number and they were asking me questions about the brown dog,” said Sonja Drury. “He said that he had found her on an island, the island on Mountain Island Lake. That is, by boat, three miles from our home. There is no way of getting to that island except by boat.”

The person who called met the family at a nearby gas station. Nutella’s electric collar had been removed.

“We are very grateful for the couple that returned Nutella,” Sonja Drury said, although the circumstances were quite bizarre.

Espresso was still missing. The family offered a reward of $1,500 for the safe return of Espresso and said they would not ask questions.

“She is family. We just want her home,” Sonja Drury said in May.

This week, the family’s wish came true. Espresso was returned home, although details surrounding the dog’s return were not provided.

“For the past six months, I have been blessed to have so many of you pray, help, look, listen, search and share Espresso’s story. It’s with a full heart that I let you know she is at home with us,” Sonja Drury posted on Facebook.

Sonja Drury said she can’t provide details at this time, but she mentioned an orange Rav4 was somehow involved. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are investigating.

“Thank you all for your support! ❤️” Sonja Drury posted.

More information is expected to be released in the future regarding Espresso’s return.

The family previously hired a private company, Epic Pet Recovery, to help find Espresso.

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