Brayden Morton from British Columbia made a frantic Facebook post on June 18 after he discovered that his Shar-Pei Darla was stolen from his yard.
"Please share and help me," he wrote. "A blue older model Ford truck just pulled up behind my house and took Darla. I am offering a $5000.00 reward for anyone who can either bring her back or tell me where she is."
Morton's post quickly went viral, amassing over 33,000 shares. He put up $2,500 and a friend put up another $2,500 for a $5,000 reward for the dog's return. He received a ton of calls from people who claimed to have information about the dog's whereabouts.
Then he got a call from a blocked number. When he picked it up all he could hear was a woman weeping.
"She was hysterically apologizing and said she had grabbed Darla from where she was because she couldn't live with herself for assisting in taking her. I ran home and grabbed the reward money and went to meet this lady," he wrote on Facebook.
When he arrived at the meet-up point, he knew immediately that she was addicted to drugs.
"I walked up to her and gave her a hug and told her it was alright and I wasn't mad because I understand what she's going through all too well," he wrote. "I am a recovering fentanyl addict who has been in recovery for just over six years and I am a Drug and Alcohol Interventionist now."
Morton got sober in 2015 after he was stabbed six times, had a machete stuck in his head, and was shot in the leg.
"In that moment, for some reason, it wasn't the multiple trips to treatment before that, everything really became clear in that moment that I was a drug addict and I needed help and I needed to accept help," he told the Cranbook Townsman.
He now owns a company called Find the Right Rehab that helps people do just that.
Morton showed her the reward money but knew that if he gave it to her, she'd be dead in a day and she agreed. So he gave her another option, to use the money to pay for rehab.
The woman agreed to go at the moment but has yet to check into a facility. She and Morton have plans to discuss it over coffee.
Morton could have easily been angry with the woman for stealing his precious Darla but he knew that deep down she was a good person that, just like him, needed some help. He hopes that people share this story just like they did his post about the missing dog.
"Hopefully it sends the message as people we need to be there for each other and our experience sometimes isn't for us it's for someone else and don't always write someone off there are a lot of good people who are addicted to drugs sometimes they just need someone to talk to and to go for help," he wrote on Facebook. "I am so grateful for the people who didn't give up on me and I'm grateful for the ones who did."
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