Five months after being told that her beloved pet had been euthanized, a New Jersey woman learned that the ailing dog was still alive and had been taken home by a technician who worked for the Veterinary hospital.

Then Keri Levy received an anonymous tip that Caesar was still alive, and was being taken care of by someone who worked for her veterinarian.

“This employee wanted to do so out of compassion for the dog and a desire to rehabilitate his health, albeit without the owner’s consent,” police tell WPIX.

Police ordered that the dog be reunited briefly with his owner before being euthanized. The dog was suffering from life-threatening ailments.

The SPCA and local police are investigating and may bring charges of theft and animal cruelty to the vet and his employee.