Homeless Australian man reunited with beloved pet rat

A homeless man in Australia has finally been reunited with his beloved pet rat with the help of police, according to news.com.au

Chris, 59, and his pet rat Lucy have long been a fixture in downtown Sydney, but the two were unfortunately separated after Chris left his makeshift dwelling to go to the bathroom on April 6. When he returned, Lucy was nowhere to be found.

Chris quickly put up a sign begging the public to help find his rat, which Alyson Pearce, a passerby who regularly sees the pair, shared on Facebook three days later. 

"My pet rat Lucy was stolen on Saturday, " Chris' sign read. "Lucy is black and white with a [bit] of brown."

Pearce also chimed in with a message of her own, chastising the person who had taken Lucy and pleading with her friends to share her post. 

"I was genuinely distressed to pass by today & see Chris without Lucy and for him to tell me that on Saturday some heartless person had whisked her away," Pearce wrote, in a post which has since been shared over 20,000 times. "Taking a homeless [person's] beloved pet — seriously, what a really low act." 

News of Lucy's disappearance quickly reached Sydney City Police Area Command, which scanned CCTV images and released images of a suspect they believed had taken the rat. She was described as a white woman, "aged in her late 30s or 40s, of a slim build and with curly brown hair."

Fortunately, police were able to track the unidentified woman down last Thursday and return Lucy to her rightful owner. 

"A woman, who walked past and saw Lucy alone, believed she had been abandoned, so took her home and cared for her," authorities explained in a statement. 

In a video released by the New South Wales Police Force, Chris appeared to be overjoyed for Lucy's safe return. He also thanked the public for the outpour of support.

"It feels wonderful," he said. "Thank you very much, everybody. She know she's missed me too." 

Pearce also created a GoFundMe to help Chris get back on his feet. It has currently raised over $2,100 of its $1,000 goal.

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