Sorrowful dog owners rallied in Langley Thursday night, hoping to bring attention to their six stolen canine companions.
â€œI canâ€™t eat or sleep,â€ said Emma Paulsen, a Delta dog walker who lost her own dog, along with the dogs of five clients.
The dogs were swiped out of the back of Paulsenâ€™s truck Tuesday afternoon at about 1:30 p.m.
She had brought the six dogs to the City dog park at 44th Avenue and 206th Street. After some exercise, she got the dogs into the back of a canopied pickup truck and went to use the nearby restroom.
Less than 10 minutes later, someone had unlatched the canopy and all six dogs were gone. There hasnâ€™t been a confirmed sighting since.
Paulsen, who searched for hours on Tuesday and has been back since to keep looking, said she is now on the phone 24-7 hoping for tips.
She and other dog owners have dropped off fliers at every animal protection centre in the Lower Mainland, including the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS).
The suspicion is the dogs were stolen rather than simply released, because none of them have been found in the surrounding suburban neighbourhoods.
Paul Grant says he doubts his dog, Oscar, would have wandered far unless he was being led by a human.
â€œHeâ€™s a rescue already, picked up as a stray, so he has a bit of separation anxiety,â€ Grant said.
Heâ€™s been dividing his time between work, searching for the dogs, and visiting his wife in the hospital after a recent surgery. Sheâ€™s frustrated she canâ€™t be helping to look, Grant said.
Like the other owners, heâ€™s heard plenty of theories about who might have taken the dogs, or why.
â€œIt really is hard to know what the motivation is here,â€ said Grant.
Regardless of the motivation, some people are trying to profit from the theft of the six dogs.
Colleen King, whose dog Teemo was taken, said her family and the others have received phone calls from someone claiming he could return the dogs for a reward â€“ if the money was wired to him.
The owners recognized the offer as a scam, but it did briefly raise false hopes for some of them.
â€œItâ€™s just absurd,â€ said Paulsen.
King said her family is â€œheartbrokenâ€ after the loss of their three year old dog.
Like many other owners, sheâ€™s already been out searching twice in the area.
â€œEveryoneâ€™s been posting flyers and searching everywhere they can think of,â€ she said.
Someone, somewhere must know what happened to the dogs, she said.
Grant agrees. Whoever has them should return them, he said.
â€œJust leave them somewhere safe, call one of the numbers on the posters,â€ he said.
Social media has exploded with information about the dogs, with articles being shared and linked to hundreds of times through Facebook and other websites.
Numerous people have come forward to help, and at the rally Thursday evening many people took posters with the dogsâ€™ photos and names to put up in their own neighbourhoods or workplaces.
â€œWe really couldnâ€™t ask for more,â€ said Paulsen.
Meanwhile, White Rock realtor and TV personality Sarah Daniels has offered a $5,000 reward to anyone who returns the stolen dogs.
The dogs are:
â€¢ Mia â€“ a black and white pit bull
â€¢ Teemo â€“ a grey bouvier poodle cross
â€¢ Buddy â€“ a black and white Boston terrier
â€¢ Oscar â€“ A black and brown rottweiler/husky cross
â€¢ Salty â€“ A border collie
â€¢ Molly â€“ A grey and black blue heeler/shepherd cross
Anyone who has any information that could help police locate any of the missing dogs should call the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200. To remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
– with files from the Vancouver Sun