BUFFALO, Minn. (WCCO) — A Buffalo family is complete again.

Sophie the yellow lab had been missing from her family since May. But with a little legwork and some police work, she’s back.

For Christine Marroquin and her three kids, it’s been a rocky few months.

“Not knowing where she was and if they were taking care of her, if she was being abused, that was the worst,” Marroquin said.

Her youngest daughter, Emma, said she and her mom cried as they searched for the lab.

The 7-year-old dog went missing while doing what retriever’s do. Emma and Sophie were playing fetch.

Emma says Sophie went for a long ball and took off to some nearby land.

“I was following her, and it took a little longer, because I was barefoot, and then I got up to the parking lot and there was this red pickup truck turning around, and Sophie was in the passenger’s seat,” Emma said.

Without their dog, the family was devastated. They started a feverish campaign, posting flier after flier, week after week. They also posted online, on Facebook and Lost Dogs Minnesota. 

Finally, the right person caught a glimpse.

“July 3 is when I got the phone call,” Marroquin said, “a tip from a lady saying she knew exactly where she was.”

Police went to the address and found Sophie in a shed.

Officers say they didn’t charge the man who had her, but they’re looking into it. They hand- delivered Sophie to her family via police cruiser.

“It was the greatest Fourth of July ever,” Marroquin said.

Buffalo police say there are some takeaways from this rare successful homecoming: (1) make sure your dog is licensed with your local government, (2) keep spreading the word like this family did online and via poster, (3) never give up.

Also, microchips in animals can make investigations like this easier.


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