Family unexpectedly reunited with stolen dog

Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-15 18:22:23-04

There are wonderful dogs like 9-year-old Caesar looking for love at I Heart Dogs Rescue and Animal Haven in Warren.

But one dog, Max, got the lucky break of a lifetime when Lori Payne and her family went to visit the shelter Thursday.

The family had been heartbroken for months after their dog, Oreo, was stolen in December.

They searched their neighborhood on Detroit's east side and websites for lost dogs, but they feared he was stolen to be used as bait by dogfighters.

Payne's 19-year-old daughter, N'Kyiah Stephens, who wants to be a veterinarian when she's older, decided she could at least comfort a shelter dog by volunteering to walk and play with one.

They family thought about adopting another dog, but couldn't afford the adoption fees that cover the medical care.

Click on the video above to see how the family got the surprise of their dreams at the shelter.

And to find out more about the other wonderful dogs available for adoption at the no-kill shelter, go to

And be sure to ask about Caesar!