Last month, Brayden Morton put up a frantic message on Facebook. "Please share and help me," he pleaded in a June 18 post. "A blue older model Ford truck just pulled up behind my house and took Darla." Darla is Morton's 3-year-old Chinese shar-pei, and she was stolen right from his gated backyard as he was working in his home office in Cranbrook, British Columbia. The story has a happy ending in more ways than one, for Morton, Darla, and hopefully the young woman who stole his dog. "I immediately started running after them," Morton, 35, tells the Washington Post of the day he watched the truck speed away with Darla. Morton contacted the police and posted on social media about Darla's abduction and a reward, noting, "It honestly felt like my world had just come crashing down on me." Two days after his Facebook post, he received a call, a crying young woman on the other end—and she had Darla. Morton agreed to meet up with her at a local gas station to get his dog.
Morton, a recovering drug addict who now runs the Find the Right Rehab service, sensed the "bawling" woman across from him had addiction issues, and they started swapping stories. She said she'd been homeless for years and relying on sex work to survive, and that she and two others had stolen Darla, planning to sell her for the cash—that is, until the woman saw Morton's Facebook post and told him "she couldn't live with herself" if she didn't return the dog. Instead of turning the woman over to police or handing over the $6,000 or so in reward money—"I know if I give you this money, I'm going to hear about you dead in the next day or two," he told her—Morton used the funds to partially pay for her stay in a 90-day residential rehab program, with the rest of the money hopefully to come from donations and government funding. "Hopefully it sends the message as people we need to be there for each other," Morton said in a follow-up Facebook post, per Upworthy. (Read more uplifting news stories.)