Four show dogs worth an estimated $500K have been snatched in a raid in Long Beach, California.
The owners were in town to show their prize winning pets in a pet show. They had checked into a hotel in the Bellflower suburb of Long Beech, and had parked their van containing the dogs at the back of the building.
Kristina Rickard, one of the owners, recounted what had happened:
“We brought three of the dogs into the hotel room because they like to stay warmer and it was cold outside.”
“The dogs that like to stay cool, we left them out in the van.”
However, when she and co-owner David Peek went to check on them the following morning, the van had disappeared.
The dogs that were taken were:
Trace – a white and silver male Akita
Dee Dee – a stripey female Akita
Bonnie – a black and white Pembroke Quirky
Peter – a red and white Pembroke Quirky
The show dogs’ value is estimated to be at half a million dollars. Regardless of these figures, the stolen animals have more sentimental value to the couple. Peek pleaded with the thieves:
“You just took our family from us. Give them back. These are like our kids. They’re not just dogs. They’re dogs to you guys, but they’re our family.”
The hotel does not have any surveillance cameras, and despite three security guards making their rounds, there were no witnesses to the theft.
The theft appears to be an opportunistic one, similar to that experienced by a Bournemouth pensioner whose dog was sold by a bogus Big Issue seller while she shopped.
It is not known if the couple had any dog insurance to cover the theft.