Over the weekend several of my neighbors discovered, to their horror, that somebody had opened their gates and their dogs were gone. At first we all just thought that some kids had probably done it, and that the dogs were probably running somewhere in the neighborhood.
But, search after search turned up nothing. Plus, it was odd that only the small dogs were missing, and one of the families actually had a lock on their gate - which was still intact - so someone would have had to have gone into the yard to let the dog out.
Anyhow, one of the families put up signs offering a reward for the return of their dog, which ended up being the exact right thing to do.
As it turns out, the dogs were all stolen by a group of teenagers who steal small dogs to sell to dog fighting rings as "bait dogs." Fortunately, one of the perpetrators had a girlfriend who was pissed off at him, and when she saw the flier with the reward offer, she decided to cash in.
What followed was a series of clandestine meetings in parks where all of the neighborhood dogs were returned (in exchange for some reward money.) One of the neighbors figured out where the dogs were being held and called the cops.
We all figured that would be the end of it, but apparently the police couldn't do anything because the teens claimed that they had found the dogs and were just waiting to take them to the animal shelter the next day.
Anyhow, my neighbors have decided that it's just too dangerous to let the dogs be out in the yard unsupervised anymore - I can't believe the world has come to this.
It just horrifies me! I can't imagine losing a beloved pet under those circumstances, and I'm soooo glad that all the dogs were returned.
Soooo... if you own a small dog, I guess the lesson here is to be careful!