It was a beautiful day in February, very warm and sunny for a month known to be so frigid. Two German short-haired pointers, Newman and Pebbles, were laying outside in the front yard, basking in the warmth of the sun beams and just hanging out, like they do. Barry, their loving owner, called for them to come inside before he left, but they refused. A dog must take advantage of nice days like this when he or she has been cooped up in the house, avoiding the bitter cold and snow for the past few months. So, being that the weather was nearly 65 degrees, Barry decided it was okay to leave them outside. They had an electric fence system, so they couldn't go anywhere, and, if they did, they had collars with their name, address, and home phone number on the tags.
Off the main street soon after Barry left, an unknown car pulled into the driveway. Excited to see a new vehicle and person, Newman and Pebbles got up to great her, both shivering with excitement, like they do for some reason. Newman, being thirteen years old and having throat cancer, looked very frail but was still quite agile and led the way. Pebbles, with her three legs and one stump, hobbled behind him.
The unknown woman observed Newman and Pebbles. She then pulled out her phone, calling animal control, claiming that she had just found two neglected and abused animals. She waited for animal control to come, petting Newman and Pebbles in the front yard.
It didn't take long for an unknown van and another new person to pull into the driveway off the main street. Newman and Pebbles, shivering again with excitement, greeted the man from animal control. Taking a quick look at the dogs, the man assured the woman that they were indeed well taken care of and not in any danger. He explained that German short-haired pointers were just a very thin breed of dogs to begin with and that he, too, leaves his dogs out on nice days like this one.
Both the animal control guy and woman climbed back into their vehicles and drove away. Newman and Pebbles settled back in the front yard to soak up the sun. However, another car pulled into the driveway - the woman was back!
The woman got out of her car and, as always, the dogs ran up to greet her. When they reached her, she took off their collars and put them in her car, driving away with them. She had committed a successful dognapping.
An hour or so later, Brenton arrived home from school. When the dogs were not in the house and he did not see them anywhere outside, he suspected that something was wrong. Barry arrived home shortly after. They looked all over for Newman and Pebbles but they were nowhere on the property. Somehow, they must have run away.
A team of neighbors and friends began a search for the dogs, but they were no where to be found. When it started getting late, everyone went their separate ways.
A family friend hearing about the missing dogs began putting the pieces together. He worked for the township and had received a phone call from a woman asking for the number of animal control as she has found two "neglected and abused dogs." Could she have been calling about Newman and Pebbles? Could she have dognapped them? Quickly, he called Barry with this information.
Barry called the animal control guy. He suspected that the lady may have come back to take the dogs. Apparently she did not agree with his statements about the dogs being completely fine and seemed kind of crazy. Unfortunately, he legally could not give her phone number to Barry BUT he could give it to the police if Barry filed a theft report with the police... which is exactly what Barry did.
The police told Barry they would look into it. But that was not enough for Barry. He began searching local SPCA websites in hopes of finding his beloved Newman and Pebbles, but they had not been dropped off anywhere. They were being held captive in a crazy dog lady's house.
A few days later, a family friend saw a post on Facebook from a lady who "rescued two, poor, abandoned, and abused dogs." According to the post, they were so scared, always shivering, and malnourished. She was going to "fatten them up" and "work on their timidness." She posted a picture of these dogs, who happened to look a lot like Newman and Pebbles... in fact, they WERE Newman and Pebbles!
Barry immediately contacted the woman on Facebook asking why she had taken his dogs. He explained that he loved them, that they shivered from excitement, that they have always been skinny even though they get people food for dinner every night, and that he wanted them back. However, she ignored his messages.
The police eventually got around to contacting the woman after week and had her call Barry. When she did, she told Barry that she had grown very attached to the dogs over the past week and just needed one more day with them. Being the nice guy that he is, Barry said he would allow her one more day and arranged a time to meet somewhere to get his dogs back.
The next day, a few hours before it was time to bring Newman and Pebbles home, the crazy lady called: She had dropped Newman and Pebbles off at an SPCA because she, like the SPCA, needed proof of ownership in order for Barry to have the dogs.
WAS SHE NUTS????
Infuriated, Barry demanded she tell him which SPCA. Frantically, he searched the house for the papers he received from the breeder when he got Newman thirteen years ago and Pebbles 10 years ago. Somehow he managed to hold onto them for all of those years. He raced to the SPCA to save Newman and Pebbles, refusing to pay the lost dog fee as his dogs were not lost - they were dognapped!
Never in their lives had Newman and Pebbles been so excited to see Barry. Pebbles even threw up on the car ride home - she just couldn't contain herself!
Exhausted, excited, confused, and hungry, Newman and Pebbles came home to some dog biscuits and big bowls of dog food mixed with sprinkle cheese and leftover carnita meat. After running around in the yard for a good hour after dinner, they came inside to take a nap - Newman on his very own chair and Pebbles on the sofa next to Brenton as he watched Family Guy on Netflix.
Dognappinig is not a joke. My dogs are victims, and yours could be too. Beware of crazy dog ladies - they are out there, and will steal your dogs straight off your property if the chance arises.