A van decorated like a bus with pictures of dogs in the windows seems like it would be easy to spot. Yet, that didn’t stop someone from stealing it and driving away with some dogs still inside.
Joshua Nichols is the owner of Tail Blazers University, a dog training, daycare, boarding, and grooming company in Massachusetts. He’s been in business for many years, but one small mistake put some dogs at risk. Nichols left the van running with two dogs inside when he stopped at the hardware store. When he came back out, the vehicle had vanished.
Daycare Van Disappears
Two Poodle mixes named Frida and Tessie were inside the van when it was stolen. The two dogs were on their way to an off-leash training session, and it was Tessie’s first time training with the company. When Nichols stopped to run a quick errand, he left the vehicle running because he didn’t want the dogs to be hot.
It didn’t take long for a woman to hop in the van and drive off. However, she seemed to be more interested in using the van to get a ride rather than stealing the dogs. Nichols felt awful because he had to contact the owners of the dogs to share the horrific news.
“I’m heartbroken, and I don’t know what to do right now,” Nichols said when the van went missing.
Later, officials spotted the vibrant-colored van driving erratically on the interstate. That night, about five hours after it went missing, the police located the vehicle in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Whoever had stolen the van abandoned it there.
Dogs Found Safe!
Luckily, both dogs are doing well after the scary incident. They shared an emotional reunion with their families, who were worried sick for hours. Both dogs were overjoyed to see their humans again.
“You have no idea how relieved we are we all,” Nichols said. “Nothing else mattered — just trying to find those dogs. These are clients’ dogs. Those were tough phone calls to make out of the gate… it’s just great news we got the dogs back.”
Police have a person of interest, but they haven’t made any arrests yet. The person they think did it was a woman who got out of the courthouse and started looking for rides and money. They suspect that when she couldn’t find a ride, she stole the running van. Her current location is unknown, but police are continuing to look for her.
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