Santa Rosa: Dog owners desperately search for stolen 'family member'
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KTVU) - A Santa Rosa couple whose dog was stolen grows more worried with every passing day.
Lucy, a 2-year-old French bulldog, was snatched from a fenced front yard on Nov. 28.
Her owners have launched a social media blitz since then, in hopes someone spots Lucy and responds to a $5,000 reward.
"We just want our dog back, no questions asked, we just want our dog home," owner Angela Stevenson told KTVU, outside the 3rd Street home she shares with boyfriend Bobby Kumparak.
They bought Lucy when she was just four months old, and she requires medication for liver problems.
"Someone had been casing the place and waiting for the perfect opportunity," said Stevenson, describing how she put Lucy out for a few minutes and left the front door ajar, as usual, for her to return.
But after a few minutes, she hadn't.
"Yep, I call her and nothing," said Stevenson, " and that was when my panic started and it hasn't stopped since."
A neighbor's security camera revealed a man who passed the house, then lingered until no other passersby were in the area.
Them he returns and opens the front gate, and takes a few steps back, to lure Lucy out.
But she doesn't come out, and he uses a flashlight to get her attention.
"She thinks he wants to play, so she runs down the yard, along the fence line," explains Stevenson, "and at the corner he leans over and picks her up."
The same evening, the heartbroken owners took to social media, posting their story and photos of Lucy.
"A lot of people are sharing our posts, which is amazing, continuing to spread the word, we want all eyes out for her," said Stevenson.
The Facebook page, "Bring Lucy home 2018" has attracted thousands of views and shares, since Kumparak's first emotional appeal to the thief.
"I'm sure you had your reasons, but all we want to do is get our pup back," he pleads, " and if there's something you need to make that happen, reach out to us, you can remain anonymous."
The pair promise no consequences to whoever took Lucy and they are offering a $5,000 reward, more than double what they paid for her.
"No questions asked, we just want her home, we want her safe, we love her, we adore her. she's our family member," said Stevenson.
Flyers are posted across Santa Rosa, and a new area is being targeted based on a Sunday tip.
A woman on the west side of town reported she saw a dog - running loose and frightened- on the side of a road.
It resembled Lucy, and the woman felt even more certain after seeing Lucy's photos.
Monday, searchers scoured the rural area in case Lucy escaped or was abandoned there.
"It's agricultural, dairy pastures, vineyards," explained Kumparak, "so we're notifying workers, groundskeepers, anybody with land, to say our little baby may be on your property."
With wet, cold weather arriving, Lucy's owners are worried about her fragile health, and the threat of predators outdoors.
Sunday afternoon when the new tip came in, they combed the area in their car until midnight.
"Driving slowly down roads that she might have been on, calling her name, stuffing flyers in mailboxes, I mean anything, we'll do anything," said Stevenson resolutely.
Saturday, the couple's hopes were dashed when a bulldog listed on Craigslist in Fresno turned out to be another dog.
But through emissaries, they bought that dog for $1,500 because it appeared to be stolen and neglected.
It is being evaluated by a veterinarian and scanned for a microchip, so that it may be returned to its rightful owners.
"It was a hope and a prayer that it was going to be our dog, but at least we did save an animal, hopefully," said Stevenson.