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Dog Disappears Right Before Adoption, Former Shelter Volunteer Arrested Days Later

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A puppy for Christmas is every child’s dream. There’s nothing quite like hearing one of the Christmas presents bark!

One woman, Dominique Searight, had planned to adopt a sweet little Pomeranian named Tub Tub for her 5-year-old twin girls. He wasn’t quite a puppy at 9 years old, but he was about the same size as one.

He was only 7 pounds. Searight was at the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter to pick him up on Christmas Eve around 3 p.m.

She had signed all the paperwork, bought a collar and leash, and was just waiting for them to bring the dog out so he could go to his forever home.

But volunteers were flabbergasted when they couldn’t find him anywhere. When they checked his kennel, they assumed he must be out back on a walk, or with a volunteer being bathed.

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When they could find neither hide nor hair of him, they concluded that he must have been stolen. It had to have happened that day, too.

Searight had to tell her girls that “Santa was a little late” that year, and they were understandably upset. Whether or not they expected a furry pupper under the tree, finding absolutely nothing would be alarming, too.

She told  NBC New York she was pretty upset about the situation.

“It’s their Christmas present. Instead of looking around for other things, this was my only plan. I thought the dog would be enough.”

Who would expect the dog they were there to adopt to be stolen right from the shelter? I know I wouldn’t.



But after just three days of police activity, someone sent in a tip that led to the arrest of Susan Bajew, 63. They found Tub Tub and were able to return him to the shelter.

Bajew confessed to authorities that she had taken the dog because she didn’t have the money to adopt him.

She had been a customer in the shelter that same day as Searight and even used to be a volunteer there.

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That would mean she knew there were no locks on doors so that volunteers could walk the dogs and no locks on kennels in the case of a fire. So she walked in, took Tub Tub, and walked out.



Tub Tub met his forever family soon after being found, and the girls were ecstatic. Searight said she’s happy everything turned out OK.

It’s so nice to find a happy ending to a strange, unfortunate story like this one. Hopefully Tub Tub lives a long, spoiled, happy life with his forever family.

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