Riley, 7-month-old pit bull, returned safely to animal shelter

Riley in good health despite having lost weight

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Riley, a 7-month-old pit bull stolen from the Santa Maria Animal Shelter on April 13 has been returned.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department made the announcement on Wednesday. According to the press statement, Riley was returned to the shelter by a "local animal advocate."

A Facebook post by the Santa Barbara County Animal Services identifies the animal advocate as Debbie Warren.

The Public Health Department did not provide details on how Warren got possession of Riley, or whether law enforcement was involved. KCOY 12 spoke with Warren who did not want to go on camera, but said a tip led her to Riley's whereabouts.

The individual that stole Riley from the shelter has not been arrested at this time.

Riley was checked out by a veterinarian at the Santa Maria Animal Shelter and appears to be in good health despite having lost some weight.

The following statement from the Public Health Department reads:

"We look forward to finding Riley and all adoptable shelter animals their forever homes.Santa Barbara County Animal Services would like to thank the community for their support during this time. Thousands of Facebook and other social media posts made a big impact to help with the safe return of Riley."

KCOY 12 Central Coast News, KKFX Fox 11 News, and NewsChannel 3 will have a full report tonight. We will update this story as new information becomes available.

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