San Diego

Oceanside Family Comes Forward to Claim Wounded Pit Bull

A pit bull that stole the hearts of San Diego viewers after she was grazed in an officer-involved shooting now has a name and a home--just in time for Christmas.

The 13-month-old pit bull's name is Catalina. She was last seen by her owners around Thanksgiving.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Kevin Meza, 22, got in a high-speed chase with deputies in Valley Center on Nov. 26. It led to a deputy-involved shooting during which Catalina was accidentally shot in the back right leg.

When the puppy was spotted by her family on television after the pursuit, they were shocked.

If Christmas is made for surprises, Salina Hurtado said she couldn't be happier with what the family is getting this year.

"My whole family was happy. My husband and my daughter were just glad she was safe and not in any danger," Hurtado told NBC 7.

Catalina is currently at a Carlsbad animal shelter, where she is expected to make a full recovery. 

"Most people think pit bulls have bad names but Catalina is all nice. She is always friendly and loving," Hurtado said.

Deputies rescued Catalina from the back of a stolen van over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.

Investigators said deputies fired at the van after Meza rammed a squad car and hit a second car head-on. 

Hurtado said Catalina escaped her yard around Thanksgiving without a microchip or registration.

"A lot of people have or they wanted to adopt her. No. She has her home she is coming home to us," Hurtado said.

The Hurtado's have vaccination records, puppy pictures, even videos before Catalina went missing.

Still, without the chip, anyone else who has more convincing credentials, has 14 days to come forward.

"I just want my dog back. They proved that we're the owners so I didn't understand why they had to keep her," Hurtado said.

But a county spokesperson said if Catalina had a microchip, the mystery of ownership would already be solved.

If no one else comes forward, Catalina will return home to the Hurtado's with doctor bills and boarding fees.

A GoFundMe page has been started to pay her medical bills. 

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