HAMILTON (Atlantic) — A dog remains missing after its owner, who had agreed to give it to a rescue organization for $1,000, stole the dog during a visit, shelter officials said.

The Funny Farm Rescue said that a homeless runaway from Missouri came to New Jersey and found a place to live that would not allow dogs. The organization agreed to allow the dog named Caesar to stay at the shelter as well as neuter it and provide it with veterinarian care as long as the former owner eventually paid back the shelter.

The organization said that a volunteer became concerned that Caesar would become lonely if he were returned to the former owner's custody because he would be working several jobs. The former owner accepted an offer from the volunteer to surrender Caesar in exchange for $1,000.  The former owner would be allowed visits with Caesar at the shelter, the organization said.

During a visit on Tuesday, the former owner grabbed the dog, ran to a waiting maroon SUV and drove off, the organization said in a statement posted on Facebook.

"We treated this man like family," the organization's post says.

The rescue said Hamilton police are investigating the incident but township police on Wednesday had not returned New Jersey 101.5's call seeking more information. New Jersey 101.5 is not identifying the owner because police have not confirmed whether the person is a suspect in a crime.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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