Thanks to the Indy Channel.com for this article.
Arizona Reporter Tracks Allegedly Stolen Dog To Indiana
Couple Charged With Theft
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — A sympathetic newspaper reporter’s search for a missing dog turned up the stolen animal — 1,500 miles from home.
Bobby, a brown and white beagle-terrier mix, was slated to take a free airplane ride on Continental Airlines on Wednesday from Fort Wayne to his home in Apache Junction, Ariz., where he vanished April 3.
And the couple accused of stealing Bobby now face misdemeanor theft charges in Arizona, police said.
Reporter Jill Jones of the Apache Junction News began investigating when Bobby’s owner, 80-year-old Lillian Brown, wrote a letter to the editor about her missing dog in the April 16 edition.
“Please bring my little buddy back to me,” the woman wrote.
Brown had obtained the 2-year-old dog at an animal shelter last fall after her husband of 48 years and then her 16-year-old dog both died, and had become devoted to it. She prayed, promising to go to Mass and to quit smoking, and slept on her front porch for days waiting for Bobby to return.
“After the first month, I said, ‘I’m never going to see my Bobby again,'” Brown told The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne.
Brown was suspicious that her neighbors, who had been dogsitting, had taken Bobby even though they insisted they had returned the dog to her mobile home.
Sharing her suspicion, Jones tracked the couple to Fort Wayne and used records from the county assessor’s office to obtain their neighbors’ addresses. She then wrote letters to the couple’s neighbors, asking them to contact her if they saw a dog matching Bobby’s description in the backyard.
One of the neighbors contacted Jones on Saturday. The neighbors said the couple called the dog Bobby and claimed it was a stray they got in Arizona.