Heaven sent! Dog stolen in Balkans found on the streets of Prague

A dog found roaming the streets of Prague two weeks ago has been reunited with its owners, who traveled hundreds of kilometers to find their pet.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 04.03.2023 12:35:00 (updated on 05.03.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The story of a mysterious White Swiss Shepard dog found roaming the streets of Prague two weeks ago has come to a miraculous conclusion. The appropriately-named Heaven has been handed over to her owners, who traveled hundreds of kilometers to reunite with their pet after she was stolen and apparently smuggled out of their country.

Jiří Pospíšil, Prague's Deputy Mayor for Animal Welfare, recounts the story on his Facebook page. Pospíšil first drew followers to reports of an unidentified dog roaming the streets of Holešovice two weeks ago.

The White Swiss Shepherd was malnourished and wary of anyone who attempted to approach her. Nicknamed 'Bela' on social media, she accepted food from benevolent residents but wouldn't allow anyone to come near her.

After a couple days on the streets of Prague, Bela was finally caught by the city's animal control and welfare service, who transported her to the Troja shelter. They discovered that Bela had a tracking chip, but not one from the Czech Republic.

Incredibly, the dog didn't even come from one of the Czech Republic's neighbors. Pospíšil doesn't identify her country of origin, but comments on his post indicate that the dog, now identified as Heaven, came to Prague from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"Friends, it is with great pleasure that I want to share some absolutely amazing news with you!" Pospíšil writes. "The incredible story of the snow-white marathon runner Heaven (aka Bela) has the most beautiful resolution that we could ever wish for!"

"Her owners just picked her up in our Prague shelter! This adds another piece to her incredible story that could have been written in a movie script. Imagine that her real home is in a country that is more than a thousand kilometers away from us. From there, where she has her family, she was stolen many weeks ago."

While it isn't immediately clear what happened to Heaven, all signs indicate that she was stolen by dog smugglers who intended on selling her in Western Europe. Somehow, she managed to escape from her captors, and ended up on the streets of Prague.

"What she was going through since that moment and how she got to the Czech Republic is not yet clear," Pospíšil notes.

"Everything so far suggests that she has most likely became one of the many silent victims of organized illegal dog trade, [which involves] smuggling, falsifying documents, and changing their identity, after which they are sold most often in Western European countries."

Pospíšil thanked the Troja shelter for taking care of Heaven in the weeks before she was handed back to her owners, and the residents of Prague 7 who took interest in her case and assisted in tracking them down. And he drew special attention to the dog herself.

"Heaven is an absolutely exceptional dog who, in her desire to find her way home to her beloved family, overcame all possible and impossible obstacles and dangerous pitfalls, including a two-day run across Prague."

"Heaven, it was an honor to have met you. Take care and have the most beautiful dog life with those you love so faithfully and for whom you ran hundreds of kilometers trying to find. I'll be so happy to see you in the future."

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