MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — A missing dog that was in an SUV when it was stolen, and then later dumped near an apartment building was found safe Monday morning, according to the dog’s family

Luna, a gray pit bull mix, was in the 2020 Chevrolet Trax when the vehicle was taken at about 8:45 p.m. Saturday on Broad Street, according to police. The driver had been delivering food at the time.

Luna’s family confirmed with News 8 that Luna was found safe Monday morning and is back with the family.

The above video is from the 10 p.m. newscast on 9/15/2023.

Bellemare spoke with News 8 when Luna went missing and said that all he wanted was his dog back.

“We just want her back,” said Jeff Bellemare, Luna’s owner. “We don’t feel whole at the moment.”

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Krystal Wilson, a family friend. “It’s a nightmare. I mean, your animals become a part of your family. When one’s missing, what do you do? You keep hoping for a miracle.” 

“As much as [Luna is] my daughter’s dog, she’s also my sounding board sometimes,” Bellemare said. “I can be a very private person, and sometimes if I need to vent, I talk to the dog. She’s like having another kid.”

OnStar tracked the vehicle to Ballfall Road, where the driver sped away from police, running red lights and crossing the double yellow line multiple times, according to officials.

OnStar remotely slowed the SUV down near Cromwell, according to police. The suspect then got out of the vehicle and tried to run away.

Malik D. Awuah (Source: Middletown Police Department)

Malik D. Awuah, a 19-year-old from Hartford, is facing charges of larceny of a motor vehicle, interfering with an officer, engaging police in a pursuit, reckless driving and cruelty to animals. He reportedly told police he left the dog in the road, near a large apartment building, after stealing the SUV.

Officers thought the dog was left in the area of South Main Street and Pameacha Avenue.

Luna, a 1-year-old pit bull mix, was in a car that was stolen on Sept. 23, 2023 in Middletown. (Source: CT Dog Gone Recovery)

CT Dog Gone Recovery was also looking for Luna. The organization released a photo of her on Sunday.