A California woman has been reunited with her French bulldog after he was found in Mexico a month after going missing.
Debbie Campbell's dog, Brody, wandered out of her Bay Area home on Feb. 3 and had been missing ever since, ABC7 reports. Her family launched an extensive search, but to no avail, told the station.
Campbell had nearly given up hope when she received a call last week from a man in Tijuana who said he believed he had Brody, she told the news station.
"'[Brody] has a tattoo. Can you show us a picture of his tattoo?'" Debbie said she asked Benjamin Gonzalez, who reached out to her after finding Brody. "And the minute he did I knew it was my dog. He had his tattoo."
No one is sure how Brody ended up in Mexico, but Gonzalez said that he purchased the dog for $1,000 from someone selling him on the street, ABC7 reports.
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Gonzalez didn't know his new dog was someone's missing dog until he was showing him off to his family that lives in the Bay Area, he said.
They showed him photos they'd seen on social media from Campbell and her family asking for help finding Brody, according to the station.
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"The family said, 'Wait a minute, that looks a lot like the dog we've been seeing on Facebook. You might want to check,'" Campbell's daughter Aubra told ABC7.
Within 24 hours, Campbell's son was on his way to San Diego to retrieve Brody, who is now safe at home, the station reports.
"He's from the Bay. I'm from the Bay. It was just weird," Gonzalez said of Brody. "I guess he was just meant to go back."
While Brody, fortunately, ended up in the hands of a good samaritan who returned him to his owner, not all French bulldogs are so lucky.
French bulldogs are among the most popular dog breeds and often targeted by thieves due to this popularity and because they are easy to steal because of their small size, according to dog experts.
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French bulldogs from reputable breeders can cost between $3,000 and $5,000, Tara Bruno, the founder of SNORT Rescue, an organization that rescues bulldogs and similar breeds, tells PEOPLE.
"The motive is resale. Thieves know they can get a couple thousand dollars for them," says Bruno, who adds that thefts of French bulldogs are "on the rise."
The violent attack on Lady Gaga's dog walker Wednesday night — and the subsequent theft of two of her three French bulldogs — was just the latest in a string of robberies involving popular breeds, particularly in the Los Angeles area.
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