Shelter Dog Meal Donation Count:

Learn More

Elderly Service Dog Reunited With Family After Being Stolen At Walmart

Written by: Amber LaRock
Amber LaRock is a writer and reviewer for iHD. She is a Licensed Vet Tech with 12 years of experience in the field, and she now creates informative content for pet parents.Read more
| Published on November 1, 2021

Deborah Cyr spent the last week desperately searching for her beloved service dog, Emmy Lou. After having her stolen from their cart during a routine shopping trip, the heartbroken fur mom was pleading for help in searching for her fur baby.

Deborah was initially introduced to Emmy when she was in search of a dedicated companion to help her with some of her medical ailments. She was then directed to an animal rescue that paired senior dogs with elderly individuals, where she met the beloved companion of her dreams. From the moment she met Emmy, she knew she was the perfect pup for her.

dog stolen from walmart

Emmy has now been in Deborah’s life for six years, and she relies on her for a few essential tasks throughout the day. Emmy not only alerts Deborah when she stops breathing due to her sleep apnea, but she also alerts her to any knocks at the door or ringing phones due to being hard of hearing.

Emmy goes everywhere with Deborah, which is why she was at her side during a Walmart shopping trip to gather some groceries. Deborah tied Emmy to the side of her cart like she always does, allowing the dedicated pup to walk at her side throughout the store. Unfortunately, things were very different on this shopping trip.

When Deborah and Emmy were in line at the checkout, Deborah stepped away from her cart for a brief second to grab a drink from the checkout cooler. In the few seconds that Deborah stepped away from the cart, a woman that had been watching the pair swooped in and made her move.

dog stolen from walmart

Security cameras captured an unknown woman leaning toward the cart and quickly untying Emmy. In an instant, the woman was running off with Emmy in her arms, quickly making her escape through the Walmart doors.

“Security tapes showed the woman just bent down, unleashed her from the harness and bolted out the door. I didn’t know she had been stalking us throughout the store and had attempted to take her before but I turned around too quickly.” – Deborah Cyr

Deborah noticed that Emmy was missing the second she returned to her cart, but initially had no idea where the dog could be. That’s when nearby shoppers said they saw a woman running toward the door with a dog in hand, leading Deborah to bolt towards the door in an effort to stop her. Unfortunately, the woman had already made her escape.

“I just grabbed my purse and I took off after her yelling Emmy’s name. If Emmy wasn’t being held, she would run back to me. Her breed can run incredibly fast, but she didn’t stand a chance.” – Deborah Cyr

After the dog-napping occurred, Walmart employees immediately reviewed the footage and got in contact with local authorities. Police quickly made still copies of the woman as she walked out with Emmy in hand, allowing them to spread the word about the thief in their community.

Deborah spent the next day searching the community and hanging as many posters as possible in search of her beloved service dog. By hanging a photo of the woman on every corner, police soon got a tip that led them in the right direction.

Authorities found the dog-napper and Emmy in record time. Emmy was rightfully shaken up from the experience, but she was otherwise unharmed.

dog stolen from walmart

The police state that the woman was already on probation for a previous theft and has now been charged with misdemeanor theft by unauthorized taking. The woman has been taken to their local corrections facility and will be pending her arraignment within the next week.

As for Emmy and Deborah, the two have been reunited and are back to their normal routine. Deborah is so thankful for the safe return of her pup and cannot imagine how she could have survived another moment without her.

“I can’t think of any other words to say other than that it’s just so unbelievable to have her back. I was so worried about my girl, and here she is on my lap again.” – Deborah Cyr

We are so glad that Emmy made it out of this terrible situation unharmed. We send our thanks to the authorities that captured the thief so quickly, and we hope that something like this never happens again.


Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog