A Santa Clarita family breathed a huge sigh of relief today after being reunited with their beloved dog, Toby, after a woman refused to return him on Monday.

Mario Lucchese, who was working in his home office, noticed the family dog, affectionately known as Mr. Toby Toes, wasn’t in the house or in the yard. He said he immediately got in his truck and searched the neighborhood for Toby.

After he returned home empty-handed Mario’s wife, Heather Lucchese who was out of town at the time, called in a panic and said a woman going by the name of Stephanie found their 2-year-old schnauzer roaming her neighborhood, but was refusing to give him up.

Mario said they filed a police report but due to the fact the woman used a restricted number, the family was unable to get any answers.

The woman said that she would consider returning the Lucchese’s dog but later threatened to take him to a shelter.  

Making good on her threat, the Lucchese family recovered Toby at the Castaic animal shelter this morning.

The woman is still at large.

“It affects more than just you,” said Mario’s son, Angelo Lucchese, about the incident, “it affects a whole family, someone that cares for the dog, that loves the dog.”

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