A stolen English bulldog whose desperate owners offered a $10,000 reward for his release is finally home.
Dolly Niuhulu, 20, and her partner Ethan Yandall, 21, were devastated to discover their beloved George had gone missing last Wednesday.
A family member had accidentally left a gate at their Parnell home ajar and the dog had got out.
Neighbours told the young couple two men had picked up the dog, offering to drop him off at the pound.
"I just missed them," Niuhulu said.
Ever since the couple had been checking in with various animal shelters on a daily basis for any information about the microchipped dog and his whereabouts.
With no word, the couple posted a reward and hired a private investigator.
But after five days of frantic searching, George is back where he belongs.
"My son is home," an ecstatic Niuhulu posted on social media.
"I just want to thank every person who has messaged, shared posts and just cared ... thank you everyone."
It is unclear who returned George or if they left $10,000 richer.
Niuhulu and Yandall earlier said they posted the reward because they wanted to discourage people from trying to on-sell him.
"He means that much to us," Niuhulu said.
She described the 1-year-old dog as having a lovely personality, being friendly and cuddly. He has never wandered away from home before.
"Help us bring him home. I know he will be terrified," she earlier told the Herald.
"I just don't know how anyone could do this.
"We are so heartbroken. This is like my baby and we don't know where he is."
The couple have had the dog since he was a puppy and he is adored by the entire family, who were quick to name him, thinking he very much suited the name George.
"Before I knew it everyone was calling him George," Niuhulu said.
Niuhulu and Yandall appealed to the public for any sightings of their beloved dog.
Police confirmed they received a report that a bulldog had been taken from the St Stephens Ave area in Parnell on Wednesday.
"Anyone with information on this matter is asked to contact Auckland police on 105," a police spokeswoman said.