HAMILTON TWP. — A dog remains missing after its owner, who had agreed to give it to a rescue 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 — who goes by either Brandon or Aaliyah — eventually paid back the shelter.

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

During a visit on Tuesday, Brandon grabbed the dog, ran to a waiting maroon SUV and drove off, the organization said on 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. Hamilton police and the rescue on Wednesday afternoon did not return requests for more information about the investigation.

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