Terminally ill Burlington girl, who was flooded with puppy offers after hers was stolen, dies

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BURLINGTON, N.C. — A 9-year-old Burlington girl, who made headlines after her puppy was stolen, died Wednesday, according to family.

When she was diagnosed with brain cancer, doctors gave Dakaia Gray three to six months.

She died exactly two full years after the date of her first brain surgery.

Back in 2018, Gray’s story awakened overwhelming generosity from the community after FOX8 reported that her puppy was stolen. 

Dakaia’s mom Shala Browning says their home on Chapel Hill Road was broken into while they were visiting family on Aug. 4, 2018.

“She makes me feel comfortable inside,” Gray said. “I really miss Annabella. That was my only dog.”

Annabella, her 11-week-old American bully,  brought her lots of comfort, but after FOX8’s story, multiple people offered Dakaia a new puppy — so many she had to pick one.

She ended up choosing Bailey, a puppy given to her by Thomas Holmes, later that month.

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