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SHELBY, N.C. --A Shelby family is relieved to have their pit bull back home after a harrowing couple of months for the dog. They said Morgan was stolen from their yard back in mid-October.

A few weeks ago, in mid-November, police arrested Patrick Tyler Philbeck and Daniel Bridges on charges of felony dog fighting. After the arrest, five pit pulls were seized and taken to the Cleveland County Animal Shelter. When the story appeared in the Shelby Star newspaper, Mary Johnson and Adrian Lovelace recognized the accompanying photo on the front page.

It was their dog Morgan.

As soon as I seen the paper, I knew it was her, Lovelace told NewsChannel 36.

Lovelace rushed to the shelter where workers confirmed it was the family dog.

There was no doubt. When I seen her, I said 'Morgan, come on!' She just took off and jumped on my chest, licking, said Lovelace.

The family said after Morgan disappeared, they searched their Shelby neighborhood for a couple of weeks, but finally gave up until they saw the newspaper article.

Authorities believe the suspects were trying to train Morgan and the other dogs to fight. Lovelace and Johnson said the effort didn't seem to work.

She's a family dog. She ain't never known any kind of meanness, said Lovelace.

In fact, when a NewsChannel 36 crew visited the home Monday night, Morgan was licking them.

Lovelace & Johnson said they've learned their lesson not to leave Morgan outside unattended, and they're getting a microchip inserted into her skin so they'll be able to track her if she gets away again.

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