The stolen puppy of an 8-year-old cancer patient was returned three days after the theft, officials at UC San Francisco Children’s Hospital announced Tuesday.
Kyle Jackson Wetle, who is battling a potentially fatal form of cancer known as lymphoblastic leukemia, received the black and tan Chihuahua-Doberman mix puppy from his parents on July 14 as one of his wishes. His parents have referred to the puppy — which Kyle named Chemo — as his "fighting buddy."
UCSF police Capt. Torin Fischer said a man showed up Tuesday with the 15-week-old puppy at the Koret Family House on 10th Avenue, where Kyle’s parents, who reside in Monterey, have been staying while their son receives treatment at the UCSF Children’s Hospital.
Fischer would not release details about the man or the return of the puppy because the theft remains under investigation, he said.
On Saturday, someone broke into the family car parked in the hospital’s garage by smashing two of its windows and took the puppy from its carrying cage along with the cell phone of Kyle’s mother, Katrina.
The family had brought the puppy with them to visit Kyle, but the puppy had to wait in the car while Kyle underwent treatment.
Kyle’s 15-year-old brother was in the garage playing with the puppy. When he wentinto the hospital at around 5 p.m. to see if Kyle was ready to see Chemo, someone broke into the car.
Fischer said the media attention following the incident was instrumental in recovering the puppy.
It was not until Monday evening that Kyle’s parents told him his puppy had been stolen. "[Kyle] really had faith that once people found out that it was his dog, it would be returned," UCSF spokeswoman Phyllis Brown said.
Kyle and his puppy are expected to be reunited sometime today, Brown said.
"We are just ecstatic. We just can’t be happier," Katrina Wetle said.
Kyle is receiving chemotherapy at the hospital in hopes that his cancer will go into remission so he can undergo bone marrow transplant surgery. His donor match is being held until Sunday.