100 Days After Travelers' Rescue Pup is Stolen in India, Phone Call Leaves Them in Disbelief


What would you do to get your beloved pup back? A couple from Germany proved just how much their rescue dog meant to them after he was taken in July 2017.

Steffen and Janin were on a “long term road trip” from Germany to Asia. They were traveling in and living out of their 1991 Volkswagon van.

While in Greece they stumbled upon a stray pup who, despite being hungry, thirsty, and covered in ticks, was extremely friendly and energetic. After asking around, no one claimed him so the couple got the pup, who they named Luke, his very own pet visa and the trio continued on.

After about a year, Luke had become a well-traveled canine. He and his new owners had visited over 15 countries! Steffan and Janin grew to love their new adventure partner and Luke adjusted to van life extremely well.

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On July 8, they were in Chennai, India. Because it was hot outside and the A/C in the van was broken, Janin tied Luke up outside so he could find shade under it. She continued working inside on her laptop.

Then someone knocked on the door of the van to tell her the horrible news. The kind stranger witnessed someone steal Luke. Janin was absolutely devastated.

The couple worked tirelessly to make and distribute flyers, talk to local media, and visit vets in order to find their dog. They even offered a reward.

A local woman, Vijaya, was also helping them in their search. She was able to speak to other locals and get even farther than the couple was able to on their own.

They unfortunately didn’t have much information to go on, but Luke did have a microchip and tags with contact information. They made sure all of the vets and shelters had this information just in case someone brought him in. They never gave up hope.

After dealing with visa issues and car troubles, Steffen and Janin had to leave India. Instead of going home to Germany, they decided to stay as close to Luke as possible. They traveled to Nepal where they continued to ask for people’s help over social media.

Between the couples’ social media campaign and Vijaya’s local search, they were contacted by hundreds of people who said they think they found Luke. After three months, however, they had still not found him.

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Janin recalls thinking, “If he doesn’t come back, we must find a way to live with it somehow… to learn to live with the fact, that we will never know what happened to him… we were not ready to give up…”

After 106 days, Janin got the message from Vijaya that she had been waiting for! “Janin, it’s him”

Janin just remembers being in hysterics. Her baby had finally been found.

A couple contacted Vijaya and said that they think they found Luke. They met her at a local vet where they scanned his microchip and it was a match!

Steffan and Janin were reunited with Luke two days later. They have no idea where Luke was during that time, but he was mostly healthy. He did have some hair loss, but he was the same, happy pup that won them over in Greece.

Luke is now back home with his family and enjoying all of the adventures that come with that. You can continue to follow their adventures on their Facebook page or Youtube channel.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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