Actress Tricia O’Kelley, from The Secret Life of the American Teenager and The New Adventures of Old Christine, had one hell of time last week. She went through a dognapping, a failed sting operation, countless moments of sheer panic, and then release: Walter, her deaf 11-year-old Miniature Yorkshire Terrier, is now home safe.
It started May 16, when Walter was snatched from the backyard of O’Kelley’s Hollywood home by dognappers. That night, Trisha received a call from a blocked number, a man who demanded a “reward” for finding the dog. According to Zap2It, when asked how much he wanted, he said, “Why don’t you tell me how much your dog is worth? I could keep him; I could sell him … “
“I totally knew the second I heard the guy’s voice that he was not a good guy,” she told CBS.
The pair sorted out a reward of $1,000, and the man told Trisha and her husband to post “lost dog” filers around the neighborhood stating that there was a “$1,000 reward.” This was so the man could tell any interested parties — like the police! — that he was simply collecting the reward. It was a good plan. Foolproof, really.
Trisha, of course, just called the police, who sent a plainclothes officer over to accompany them to the meeting place.
Then, weirdly, it all went to pot. Before they had even left, the man called and said. “You f***ing lied to me … I’m at the location and there are cops there. I’m keeping your f***ing dog.”
Trisha believes the dognapper sent a scout to the location, and that person saw an unrelated patrol car there and freaked out. Trisha believes the people who took her dog are part of an Armenian street gang, based on information from witnesses in the neighborhood.
“This is like a bad movie,” she said. “I want whoever has Walter to know that he’s deaf, to know that he’s 11 — he’s a senior.”
Trisha also said the dog has a collapsing trachea and he could be hurt if kept on a standard leash.
The actress also took to her Twitter account, which was receiving intense play after she had posted a drop-dead-adorable photo of the dog (see above). She began telling her followers to keep an eye out for the dog in the area where they were going to make the exchange. One said: “N Hollywood, look out for a man walking around w/ my dog. Tried to extort $ from us & won’t give him back. Please RT”
Fortunately, it all ended well. In the midst of increasingly intense interest on social media, the thugs seem to have simply abandoned the dog on the street near Trisha’s house. Little Walter was picked up by some Good Samaritans, and he was soon safe at home.
A relieved Trisha announced the news with series of “We got him back!!!” messages on her Twitter, accompanied with this photo:
Yes, that dog is smiling.