LOS ANGELES – A loyal Labrador retriever named Maggie, who was videotaped as she guarded the body of a yellow Lab hit and killed by a car in Southern California, was reunited with her family Monday.
A good Samaritan saw what was happening on Hacienda Boulevard in La Puente last Wednesday, called officers, put traffic cones around the dogs and took the video that touched hearts across the country as it made its way around the Internet.
Before Maggie's family claimed her Monday, the dog was spayed and microchipped. The name of the family was not released.
Dozens of people called or visited the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control shelter in Baldwin Park offering to adopt the sweet-natured dog. The good Samaritan was the first to fill out paperwork.
Officers were getting the dogs out of the street at the same time Maggie's family was at the shelter looking for her, said Capt. Aaron Reyes, deputy director of the department.
Maggie is expected to go home Tuesday after shelter workers inspect her home, Reyes said.
No one knows who the yellow Lab belonged to or where Maggie met him, Reyes said. He had no license or microchip.
Maggie's loyalty to the dead dog was so poignant and so risky that shelter workers nicknamed her Grace, as in "Amazing Grace." The video shows traffic speeding by just a few feet from the dogs.
Maggie is about 2 years old and the family's only dog, Reyes said. The family includes children.
Maggie's family wasn't the first to show up at the shelter Monday claiming the dog belonged to them. But it was the first family to have papers to prove it and to call the dog Maggie. Shelter workers remembered the family.
Even though she was groggy from surgery, the dog responded immediately to her name and the family, Reyes said.
The family will be issued citations for having an unregistered dog and allowing it to run loose and will have to pay nominal room and board costs, Reyes said, but the shelter did the surgery and implanted the microchip for free.
The good Samaritan who had hoped to adopt Grace was notified, Reyes said, and his reaction was "understandably bittersweet."
"He had a lot of the same questions we did. How could they not have a license? Had Maggie had an ID tag or microchip, she could have been spayed and been back home last week," Reyes said.
Meanwhile, adoptions are all about foot traffic, he said, so he's hoping some of those drawn in by Maggie might consider leaving with another dog, cat or rabbit.
Baldwin Park is 18 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.