Oakland yoga teacher hires private investigator, offers $5,000 for dognapped pooch, Zephyr

- A yoga instructor has gone to extraordinary lengths to her stolen dog back: She hired a specialized private investigator, scoured the state and is offering $5,000 after her Australian terrier, Zephyr, was stolen from her car while she was teaching a class.

Whitney Walsh told KTVU that her dog was taken on Oct. 2 between 6:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. from her car, which was in the parking lot next to Grand Oaks Restaurant, at 3701 Grand Ave. It was cool that night, she said, and she left her pooch inside with the window cracked as she taught at Left Coast Power Yoga. She said her dog gets anxiety when she leaves him too long in his crate at home and he prefers having more room to spread out in the car.

But when she returned to the car, the glass windows were shattered, though the console and glove compartment were untouched, she said. 

She called police and filed a report online. She has also plastered fliers around town.

Not only that, but Walsh said she hired a private investigator at Lost Pet Professionals, who suggested she offer a $,5000 reward. She said she's paying a $345 flat rate because the investigator is working remotely, but if the professional flew to Oakland, the price would soar to $3,000 plus $950 a day.

Zephyr looks like a Yorkie and he is neutered with a black body and tan legs. He weighs 18 pounds and he is “semi wiry,” Walsh said. He does not have a microchip. He was wearing a collar with a tag that had his name and Walsh’s last name as well as her phone number.

Walsh also set up a Facebook page for her dog, called Bring Zephyr Home, along with posting his story on Nextdoor, Fido Finder and Pawboost. She bought ads for him on Facebook and in the East Bay Express. She’s checked all the local shelters and she posts every two days on Craigslist in the pets and lost and found sections. She has even gone to homeless encampments to ask. She said she has since come to realize, sadly, that dognapping is more common than she previously thought.

“We just want Zephyr back home with us,” Walsh said. “ We have spent thousands of dollars on pursuing his return.”

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