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Dog Stolen In 2015 Is Found With Criminals Nearly 3,000 Miles Away

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on November 28, 2019

Maggie the Bulldog never asked for a life of crime, but that’s what happened after she was stolen in 2015. She had been living happily with her dad in Northern California until a couple snatched her from her home one day. Her dad was unable to find her after that, and unfortunately, she ended up in the wrong hands. She found herself living with two criminals that would bring her with them whenever they went to rob a house.

A rise in house robberies was noticed in Lido Key, Florida one week. Usually, the police have a difficult time describing suspects due to masks and other disguises. However, all these reports included one important detail: a white Bulldog. During every robbery, the duo made sure to have Maggie by their side, so the police warned people to be on the lookout for two individuals with a dog of that description.

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Catching the Criminals

After the announcement about Maggie was made, an individual in the area happened to run into a man and a white Bulldog. When they reached down to pet Maggie, they realized that she fit the police description perfectly. So, that person called the police right away.

Officers rushed to the area, searching for the criminals and their dog. They found them hiding in a bathroom, and sure enough, Maggie was right by their side.

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The two criminals were faced with multiple charges including trespassing, burglary, and grand theft. Most importantly, Maggie was taken away from them. The poor dog had never wanted to be an accomplice to their crimes. She just wanted to be a normal dog.

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services took Maggie in. They scanned her for a microchip, and they learned that she actually had a family in California. They learned that the burglars had stolen her back in 2015, so the officers were determined to get her home to her true family.

Bringing Maggie Home

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When the officers contacted Maggie’s dad, he was very excited and grateful that she had finally been found. However, Maggie was still nearly 3,000 miles away! The reunion would take a lot of work, but everyone involved was eager to help.

Maggie’s dad scheduled her to stay at West Coast Veterinary Center of Sarasota for her required 14-day quarantine. They would make sure she was healthy and properly treated before making the long journey. 

The police department was able to raise $800 to transport Maggie back to her dad. She was brought home by a service called Haulin’ Paws. Maggie’s dad requested to not have his identity shared on the news, but the person who brought Maggie to him said that the reunion was beautiful. 

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“As soon as Maggie saw him, she took off bolting, running to him. She actually ripped the leash out of my hand to get to him faster,” said Todd Grippe from Haulin’ Paws.

Of course, no matter how long a dog is separated from their loved ones, they’re always excited to be reunited. Dogs can’t forget their families that easily. So, both Maggie and her dad are very happy that they were brought back together after all these years. She is relieved that her life of crime is finally over too.

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