When Angie Estrada’s daughter’s dog was stolen she watched in sadness as the heartbroken little girl continued to wish for the dog’s return for Christmas. In the end, a random act of kindness would reunite this New York girl with her best friend.
Earlier this week, 7-year-old Mia Bendrat had her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Marley, stolen outside a Washington Heights grocery store. Quickly, posters with photos of he dog were created and posted all over town. As Mia waited anxiously for news about her friend, she had no idea a reunion was just around the corner.
At around 1:30 p.m Monday, Tena Cohen, a Spanish teacher in Brooklyn, was heading to Union Square when she heard a man yelling, “Do for Sale!” Catching her attention, Tena went over to the man and saw he was holding an older, and clearly “nervous and sad” dog.
Figuring the frightened dog was stolen, Cohen offered the man $100. The man said the owner wanted more money, claiming he had paid $3,200 for it. When she looked at the other man, Cohen said it was obvious he was on drugs. Not having any additional cash on her, but determined to get the dog away from these men, Cohen ran into a nearby Staples store and made three debit card purchases and returned them for cash.
With more cash in hand, Cohen said she went back to negotiate, telling the New York Post she told him, “‘Look, this is all the money I have.’” The man gave Cohen the dog and she immediately took him to a veterinarian and called the police as well as the group Cavalier Rescue USA .
The vet examined the dog free of charge and held him overnight. With help from the rescue group’s president, who had read about Marley’s disappearance in the Post, Mia and her family awaited the dog’s arrival. When it was confirmed the “Cohen’s dog” was indeed Marley, the family was overjoyed to learn they would have him home in time for Christmas.
Though Marley was chipped, the vet had a hard time located the family, because they had not registered it.
As Marley was being reunited with his family on Christmas night, one of the men allegedly involved in the dognapping was being arrested. Brad Bacon, 29, was arrested on charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. He was seen taking the dog on the store’s surveillance camera.