Stolen dogs still missing, likely sold out of transport van

Several puppies being delivered to new families are missing after the van they were in was stolen.

Fremont police say two bulldog puppies were likely sold out of the back of the van on the streets of East Oakland Monday morning.

Police say the transport van they were in was stolen from a Fremont hotel parking lot between 11:00 p.m. Sunday night and 5:20 a.m. Monday morning.

Oakland police were able to use GPS and track the van to East Oakland and recover 24 dogs which were taken to the Oakland animal shelter.

Police detained one man and say it appears he was selling the stolen animals on the streets.  

"It is complicated with this many animals and this transport situation. We're trying to identify do these dogs have owners, where did they originate and where is the end point," said Oakland Animal Services' Eric Zuercher.

Fremont police are now focused on one of the missing bulldogs, named Papo, who was believed to have been sold.

Fable was found on Tuesday night and was apparently headed home for the holidays. 

Fable's owner, Tracy Smith, lives near Portland, Oregon had said not knowing where her dog was, had been horrible.

Smith purchased the 12-week old bulldog from a breeder in Canada and has presents including toys and treats waiting for her new dog under the Christmas tree.

But Fable never arrived Monday as scheduled.

Smith had this to say to anyone who may have bought her.

"Please find it in your heart to hand her over to someone who can get her to me. We are happy that she is with you and you're taking such beautiful care of her but she needs to be with me, her rightful owner," said Smith.

That request came true. Police had posted a Facebook photo of a woman who was believed to have been gifted Fable and named her "Bella." 

Police stressed on social media that the woman was not in trouble, but believed she knew the dog's whereabouts and only wanted to get Fable back home for the holidays. 

Police posted on social media that their focus was now turned on Papo and that they needed the "same energy" to help find him.  

The group "Fosters 4 Rescues Fresno" says it used the company van to transport 20 rescue dogs to Ohio.     

Oakland Animal Services says it has cited the owner of the transport company, Julie Bingham.

"There's some concerns about the condition of the van that the dogs were housed in that van and that they were left alone in the van," said Zuercher.

Bingham said she did not neglect the animals, is focused on helping find the missing puppies and says she plans to fight the 24 counts of animal neglect.

"There could have measures that I could have done to prevent this and I am owning that 100%. Those dogs are my responsibility when they're with me," said Bingham.
As for the dogs that have been recovered, one has been claimed and animals service employees are working to reunite the remaining dogs with the rightful owner or caretaker.

Several pet owners say they have made new transport arrangements, including one family that is driving down from Washington state.