SEAL BEACH ( — A mystery man was caught on camera stealing a dog and then later returning it to a Seal Beach animal shelter.

Volunteers at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center said an unidentified man showed up Monday afternoon and said that his dog was put down as a result of cancer and he desperately needed to adopt a replacement.

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The man said his dog looked similar to the shelter’s 2-year-old terrier named Kane.

“He (worked at) a boatyard or a shipyard. (He said) the workers there would be so distraught without a dog, so he needed to go back with a dog. (The dog) would go to work with him,” said volunteer Jane Parnes.

After the man took Kane outside, they both disappeared.

“I feared for her safety all night,” said Parnes.

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Volunteer Sharman Snow said, “It was such a frightening experience because in my experience people only steal dogs to create pain.”

Workers launched a search for Kane through Facebook and a pet Amber Alert system.

They put a cage outside the shelter with the sign, “Kane’s Return…No Questions Asked”, in hopes the dog thief would have a change of heart.

Cameras caught the suspect returning the terrier to the shelter sometime between 10 p.m. Monday and 4 a.m. Tuesday.

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Although Kane is back and ready to be adopted, the shelter’s policy is being revamped with regards to how clients interact with the dogs.