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After Facing Down Thief Who Stole His Dog, He’s Helping Get Her Into Drug Rehab Instead of Calling Police

Owners search social media for lost pets, post reward requests and bombard them with pleas to find their pet. A happy ending is always the best story, but this one has a twist.

Brayden Morton’s Shar-Pei Darla didn’t just disappear, she was dognapped outside his home in Cranston, British Colombia. Her abductors packed her into a pickup and drove off.

Morton posted the information to social media immediately. It was shared over 30,000 times. A $5,000 reward package was also offered.

Although there were many tips, Morton did not know he had the right dognapper until he got a call. It was from a woman who sound clearly distraught. He could hear her crying.

Instead of attacking, he comforted the woman and gave her his support. They agreed to meet in the parking lot at a nearby mall. Still in tears, the woman offered Darla’s forgiveness and gave it back to Morton. The woman was not the only one who acted in this crime, but she was deeply ashamed.

Morton was struck by a sudden epiphany when he looked at her. Morton realized that she was a drug addict. He also admitted to the plot to make money for drugs. Morton was aware of his past addiction.

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Morton was clean and sober for the past five years, starting his recovery from drug addiction at the Top of the World Ranch Treatment Center. After successfully completing the program there, Morton took a volunteer staff position.

He was eventually able to work as an intervention counselor in the field. (He is now the founder of Find the Right Rehab. This company helps addicts find the right treatment facility for them.

Morton was carrying the reward money with his when he went looking for Darla. But, instead of handing it over, Morton gave Darla something that might prove to be life-changing: A payment for treatment in rehab if she agreed.

He and she have been discussing the matter since then. Morton hopes she’ll accept him even though he has learned from his own experiences that an addict will give up when they are ready.

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But there’s more. As Morton searched for Darla, a tipter gave him information about another suspect. Morton was eventually able to locate the man, but he wasn’t involved with the dognapping. He was however down on his luck and didn’t have a place to call home.

Morton paid for a week of hotel stay as an act de kindness. Social media made it possible for the good deed to continue. When they heard about Morton’s kindness, Morton’s Facebook cronies picked up the tab for a week’s rent. They also found him a job.

For a tale that started so badly, this one continues in unexpected and heartening places. For Morton, being reunited with his beloved dog is truly a blessing, but it’s not the only one he’s taken away from the experience.

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It is not an easy road to recovery. Without a safety net, anyone can become homeless, sober or not. Morton has a unique perspective and is thankful for the opportunity to reach out to people still in struggle as he was.

“I would tell you, it was more than any other thing… it was exactly the right thing for me at that time in my life. Those people helped me immensely. Morton stated that they truly touched my heart and humbled [me],” Morton explained to the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. “I’m just a little more grateful for the two relationships that I have made throughout this whole thing and I’m glad I was able meet them.”

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