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LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) — A Guilford Lake woman has had her pet returned to her after it was found near Lisbon. The dog was found near Route 172 and County Home Road. A $400 reward was offered for the pet’s safe return.
On Monday, Kathy Smith put out a plea for the return of her dog Sugar Bear who she believes was stolen from her car.
“I just want my baby back,” said Smith.
After news reports of the missing dog, Smith received several calls from residents living in the area of Route 172 and County Home Road saying they had spotted the white, Bichon Maltese mix. One caller said she tried to catch the dog, but it ran off.
Smith went to the location around 1 a.m. Tuesday and found the dog roaming in the area. The dog was unharmed.
Smith said her baby “baby” Sugar Bear, was stolen on Wednesday while she was inside the Lisbon Post Office.
“It’s the first time I never locked my car and because I knew I wouldn’t be in there long. And I was in and out. When I came back out, Strawberry hid in the back of my car like she was scared to death and Sugar Bear was gone,” Smith said.
Smith owns two other dogs and she immediately filed a police report. She also called around to local groomers and veterinarian offices as well as the Humane Society of Columbiana County.
First of all, we don’t know what the motive is and we need to go from there, which is prevention,” said Jenny Pike of the Humane Society.
According to the American Kennel Club, pet theft has been on the rise the past few years across the country, with some purebreds being targeted for their value. But it could happen to anyone.
“The last thing you want to do is give up. It could be weeks. It could be months. It could be even longer. We’ve all seen the stories, that somewhere down the line somebody spots a dog that looks like Kathy’s. One call could bring that pet home to her,” Pike said.
Pike recommends micro-chipping to help properly identify the dog.
“It can be done anytime. Cats can be micro-chipped. It’s just like a little piece of rice injected right into their fur,” she said.