Disabled Teen’s Companion Dog Back Home After Being Stolen

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DES MOINES, Iowa --  A handicapped teen that had his companion dog stolen on Wednesday now has his dog back.

Hunter Stoneburner, who was left handicapped after a stroke a couple of years ago when he was just 16-years-old, says he had his dog stolen by Shane Newton of Des Moines. Stoneburner says he saw Newton grab the dog, Bella, before jumping over his backyard fence and driving off.

Newton said Friday that he had nothing to do with the dognapping.

However, after seeing the story air Friday night, Newton’s mother called police. She told authorities her son dropped of the dog at her house. The Stoneburner family picked up Bella early Saturday morning.

“I’m really happy that we got our dog back,” Stoneburner said. “And I know she missed us because when she got home she was all over us.”

Newton still insists he didn`t steal the dog but he says he did know the dog was stolen and dropped it off at his mother’s. He said he was hiding Bella because he had heard she was being abused. Stoneburner's family says otherwise.

“When I got there Bella jumped out of the guys lap, and came right to me,” said Hunter’s mother, Kristy Lynn Hochmuth. “I picked her up, she was kissing me all over and licking me.”

The family plans to go forward with criminal charges against Newton, but for now, their focus is on Bella.

“I’m going to be loving all over her,” Stoneburner said. “She’s going to sleep with me tonight.”

Des Moines police have not yet filed criminal charges against Newton, but they are investigating the theft. Newton, 20, has an arrest record that includes charges for criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and theft.

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