Dog Owner Thanks UCR Extension Student Who Rescued His Stolen Pup

The dog was found 10 miles away from the car jacking

Donald Mittica expresses his thanks to Donna Liu, who turned in his stolen dog to the shelter, on Feb. 16. Photo by John Welsh

An 80-year-old Air Force veteran, Donald Mittica, said a personal thank you Tuesday, Feb. 16 to a UCR Extension student from China who helped save his small, white, dog.

Mittica’s tiny white terrier, Lola, was taken from him during a violent carjacking at a taco restaurant in San Bernardino on Feb. 8. The carjacker held Mittica at knifepoint, forced him out of his Toyota and drove away with three-pound Lola still inside.

Luckily, Donna Liu, a second-year student at the University of California, Riverside Extension Center, found Lola wandering near campus that same day, about 10 miles away from the spot of the carjacking. “Here baby, baby,” she called to the dog,

Liu, who is originally from Shenyang, China, fed the dog and sheltered her overnight before taking her to the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley the next day.

Why that shelter? Her own dog, a husky named Tank, went missing and another Good Samaritan turned Tank in at that shelter. “She saw her actions as a way to pay it forward,” said Riverside County Department Animal Services spokesman John Welsh.

From L to R: Donald Miytica's daughter, Mary Ann Schmidt; Donna Liu holding Lola; Donald Mittica; and Liu's brother, Jack Wu. Photo by John Welsh

From L to R: Donald Mittica’s daughter, Mary Ann Schmidt; Donna Liu holding Lola; Donald Mittica; and Liu’s brother, Jack Wu. Photo by John Welsh

Mittica was reunited with Lola on Feb. 10 and was able to meet Liu at that same shelter the following week. Expressing his gratitude and appreciation for Liu’s kind gesture, he bought her a gift card that she politely refused several times until Mittica sneakily handed the gift card to Liu’s brother to give to her later. The Riverside County Animal Services also pooled together money to buy her a small bouquet of flowers as a way to say thanks.

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