STROUD TOWNSHIP -- A dog was reunited with its owner in the Poconos after someone took the pup from outside of the grocery store where his owner was shopping last week.
The woman who took the dog thought he was left behind in the cold and wanted to help.
Officials are now offering tips to people who see animals left out in this bitter cold.
That dog named "Buddy" was chained to a garbage can while his owner was inside of Weis Market in Stroud Township.
Both the dog and the owner are well known to many people in this area, so it was a big surprise when the dog went missing.
Officials are now reminding people to call authorities first before taking matters into your own hands.
Wayne Smith and his dog Buddy are back together again after the pup was taken from the Weis Market in Stroud Township last week.
Both Smith and Buddy are regulars to this spot outside of the store and live in a tent not far from it.
"I went into the store and pick up groceries and Buddy was tied outside like we always do, and we had friends looking after him like we always do when he's out here, and somebody asked me in the store, 'Aren't you with Buddy?' Well, of course, I am. They said they didn't see him tied outside," Smith said.
When Smith saw his friend was gone a search began.
Local shelters were called and a picture was even posted on Facebook by Stroud Area Regional Police.
Buddy was found and returned hours later after officials say a woman thought the pup was chained and left behind in bitter cold temperatures.
Smith understands the concern but says a lot of people know Buddy is well taken care of.
"He couldn't be closer to me if he was a brother or a son. We rescued each other," Smith said.
Directors at Camp Papillon tell Newswatch 16 the best thing to do is to call authorities before you take matters into your own hands.
Maria Zarate is the kennel manager at Camp Papillon Animal Shelter near Stroudsburg and says directors were notified when Buddy went missing. She says she understands people want to help animals, especially in extreme weather conditions, but says the best thing to do is ask for help first.
"Do not try to take matters into your hands because ultimately dogs are property. For example, in this case, if you take a dog that belongs to someone else, it could be a legal situation," Zarate said.
And in these bitter cold temperatures, officials are reminding all pet owners to not allow your animal to stay outside for more than 30 minutes.