We love our pets. For most of us, they are a part of the family. There is an occasional worry that a dog might get off of a leash and run, but few of us worry about theft.
Jaime Gastelle was already in love with her 7-month-old Shih Tzu puppy, Zoe, when the unthinkable happened. The incident left her boyfriend, Yoann Hispa, feeling guilty that he could not do more.
Hispa had decided to let Zoe spend some time outside. He put her on a leash out front, close to his in-home office.
He would occasionally glance out the window to check on her. “I’m working here, I’m watching her because she loves being outside and saying hi to people. She’s extremely friendly,” he said.
Sometime later in the afternoon, around 2 p.m., Hispa glanced away for a minute to take a phone call. It was then that a black truck pulled up in front of Gastelle’s home.
A video camera, mounted on the home, captured a man as he exited the passenger side of the truck and walked quickly over to Zoe. The playful puppy rolled over submissively, wagging her tail before she was unclipped and carried to the vehicle.
Apparently a watchful neighbor saw what happened and ran over to alert the family to the dog’s departure.
As soon as Hispa realized Zoe was gone, he went after the truck. “Those guys… they were just really fast. I didn’t see them. I chased them by car, but it was too late,” he said.
Gastelle and the family are heartbroken. “For someone to steal her is devastating to our family.”
Her children are particularly affected. She added, “She’s really the kid’s dog… the kid’s dog. They love her. They adore her. They take care of her.”
Gastelle and Hispa believed that the theft was planned. Days before Zoe was taken, Hispa had noticed a woman driving by the house.
Several times the woman approached Zoe and petted her. When Hispa confronted the woman she had some strange words for him.
“She’s saying she’s an animal care giver, and that this animal looks like it’s not treated well and it needs care,” said Hispa of the situation.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. The couple pleaded for the safe return of Zoe with no questions asked. They also offered a reward.
“I am sorry,” he told her at one point, “but it is not appropriate for you to keep stopping by.” The pup has a microchip, but of course, that is only useful if someone turns her in.
The video footage gives some information to lead the investigation. Hopefully this cute furry member of the family will be returned unharmed.
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