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Authorities in Riverside, California have recovered a puppy meant for a Sacramento girl gravely ill with cancer, but was never delivered to her.

The puppy, a pug named Mu Shu, was purchased by Los Angeles resident Shawna Harmon to fulfill the Christmas wish of an eight year-old girl named Tiffany. Harmon entrusted the delivery of the pug to a woman who had hosted a dog for her previously.

Mu Shu the pug peers out from a Riverside, California patrol car after being recovered by officers.Riverside, California Police Department / Riverside, California Police Department

But the woman never showed up in Sacramento on the agreed-upon date, and Harmon filed a police report after the woman refused to return the puppy. Police subsequently recovered Mu Shu from the woman, whose name has not been released, police say, because she has not been charged with a crime.

The plan now, says Harmon, is for the puppy to be delivered in Philadelphia, where the girl is undergoing experimental treatments for her leukemia.

KNBC and The Press Enterprise contributed to this report.