Dog Stolen from the the 17th and Corcoran St, NW Safeway entrance

From an email:

“On sept. 1st I adopted a dog from the Washington Humane Society. Yesterday evening, I was buying food/brush/treats for him only to find out he was stolen!!!!!! Im heartbroken, he is a sweet boy that was just beginning to brighten up after two months at the shelter (and if you ask my friends, we were crazy in love already). Two people saw a guy taking him on his bike from the 17th and Corcoran Safeway entrance.

Im doing everything possible to find my sweet boy. I reported this to the police and Washington Humane Society and have already posted over 50 posters in the area in case he fell from the bike and ran.

Im begging for help from each of you, I will be really grateful if you help me spread the word by posting the attached poster in a visible spot around your place, Im not sure in which area of the city he is and anything could help. If you could also forward the message below to the people you know in DC/Mayland/Virginia… I dont know, I just want to exhaust all the options available. Maybe somebody recognize him and report it.

Thank you for your help!!!!!!!!! I really need it!”

118 Comment

  • This is going to be a tough one to explain to the WHS adoption folks.

    • Seriously. I actually sort of think that this is, to some extent, WHS’ fault. Clearly they did not screen the applications carefully and it went to someone who doesn’t really know how to take care of a dog.

      Note to owner: Very sorry for your loss and I hope you find him.

  • I’m sorry for you. It would be horrible if I lost a pet but I also wouldn’t leave a small dog tied up outside the grocery store.

  • Seriously.


    Or dining. Or having a coffee. Or whatever. Leave them at home.

    OK, commence the flaming/trolling on my post.

  • I really hope they post this on DCist also

  • poor OP has no idea how badly she’s gonna get ripped apart via comments.

  • And this is why they make people jump through so many hoops to adopt animals and why people end up going to breeders.

  • Kids do it all the time in DC, they wait for the poster announcing reward and then get the reward money.

  • I can’t believe there hasn’t been a “Molly!” yet. GET IT TOGETHER DCist commenters!

  • Damn socialists.

  • Anyone else on board with rescuing dogs tied up from here on out and taking them to shelters as “abandoned”?

  • Somehow I think there may be some audience overlap?

  • I don’t understand why people don’t realize what a big industry dog fighting is in this city. If people aren’t breeding/training their dogs to fight, they’re stealing dogs to train and sell to fight or for bait.

    Or just to sell.

    Don’t freaking leave your dog tied up outside. Anywhere, anytime. Good god.

    • yup; when we rescued our little pup last year, the organization told us to keep him indoors at all times unless he was supervised outdoors b/c people will steal them to use as bait. so sad. sure, small pups are easier to take, but i doubt they care what size the dog is if they’re stealing it for dogfighting bait.

    • This is exactaly why I stand next to dogs tied up outside until the owners come back. An icey stare and a “have a good evening” usually get the message across.

    • I had no ideda that was going on (not a dog owner). It’s sickening.

  • I agree with the other posters. Why in the world would you tie your dog up outside of a store? Especially one like the Safeway where there is no way of keeping an eye on him? This is just common sense.

  • This PoP post just sent me over the edge. Expressing my thoughts/opinions will only elevate my road rage to an epic level.

    Hopefully the little guy is in the hands of someone who knows how to care for him.

    OP: Please stick to an indoor cat.

  • Damn, tough crowd here. People tie their dogs up all the damned time all over this city. Give this person a break. I’m sure she won’t make the same mistake again.

    Save your unhelpful comments.

    • People are tough because they’re heartsick at what this dog’s fate could be. While I’m very sorry for the OP, my true sympathies are with this little guy who was just coming out of his shell with a loving, if not very savvy, owner.

      • I think you’re being overly nice. People are ‘tough’ b/c they enjoy being self righteous, particularly on this issue. Did she screw up? Yes. Do we all need to be dicks about it, including telling her they hope the dog ends up w/ better owners.

        Hope the OP gets her dog back.

          • Disagree. The second best thing to actually recovering the dog (which I really hope happens for his sake) is that everyone else learns from this person’s mistake. The fact that so many still tie their dogs up on sidewalks makes it clear that people aren’t getting the message.

        • I second the comment about the self righteousness on here.

          Perhaps keeping a dog tied up for three minutes while you buy a pack of gum isn’t the most supreme idea in this town, but neither is locking your bike with a chain lock, or parking your car without a club on the steering wheel. Do any of those actions excuse someone stealing? No.

          Take it easy on the OP. I hope she finds her dog and, more importantly, the cops find the person that took it, because he/she obviously has mental issues and needs help.

  • I’d like for someone who leaves their dog tied up unattended, to explain to me why they think it’s ok. Seriously, what are these people thinking?

    • They’re probably thinking that they have a life which shouldn’t be dictated by criminals. They probably think that getting a dog treat is a neat thing to do. They probably also think that it is illegal to steal a dog, and people won’t do it, since it is wrong. It should be OK to leave a dog unattended as much as it should be OK to eat at a cafe and not be bombed by terrorists.

      • Yeah, ’cause terrorism and dog-napping are really similar crimes.


  • Why oh why would you leave your dog unattended outside of any store? Anything that isn’t nailed down or locked up is liable to get stolen around these parts?

  • I am so sorry that your dog got stolen. It must feel terrible, but I totally agree with the people that say NEVER NEVER NEVER leave a dog unattended out side like that. Besides what happened, the dog could have bit someone, been mauled by another dog, or a stray, gotten run over by a bike, and let’s not forget all the insane people in this town that might just like to kick or poison a helpless pooch like yours. I hope you find him and that he’s OK and I sincerely hope you learned your lesson.

  • Wow, these comments are extremely helpful!

    Seriously guys, I’m sure the OP recognizes their mistake. No need to rub it in.

    OP–I hope you find your dog.

    • I fail to see how don’t do what you did is not helpful. Clearly the OP did not think anything was wrong with it, and did not so much as express regret over having done it in the post, so I’d say that the OP actually needs to be told.


    There was an episode of Portlania, which was hilarious, on the whiny yuppies who act like it’s abusive to leave your dog alone a minute while you run an errand. The poor OP had no idea what she got herself into posting on a blog in DC a city full of bored, frustrated, and coddled meddlers, who are just now coming to terms that life is so unfair, and feel the need to impose their misplaced self righteousness on those dastardly people who have the nerve to take their dog with them on errands. WAHHHH

    • With a few exceptions, it doesn’t seem that people are saying the OP was cruel for tying her dog up for a few minutes while she ran in to the store or that the dog would suffer. It seems like they are saying she was naive to think that no one would take the dog.

    • In Portland (and many other cities), it would be perfectly fine. In DC, it’s begging to have your animal taken. It sucks, but it’s just a fact. There are far too many stories exactly like this, which is why anybody who has been here longer than a year gets upset when yet another dog is taken while the owner is just inside ‘for a minute’. In this city, the unfortunate reality is that leaving a dog unattended IS negligent.

    • “on the whiny yuppies who act like it’s abusive to leave your dog alone a minute while you run an errand.”

      No one is saying that it is abusive to leave your dog alone a minute while you run an errand.

      Everyone is saying leave your dog at home, not tie up in some random spot on the street.

      Thanks for feeling superior and tougher than all of us “yuppies”, though.

    • they tell op he/she is wrong. you tell them they are wrong. it’s a beautiful circle.

      • Except all available evidence, aka facts, show that the OP is indeed wrong. It is *not safe* to leave dogs tied up unattended, exactly because things like this *do actually* happen. Need proof? Reread the OP! It was a bad idea.

        I think we all hope the dog is found, safe and sound, and reunited with the owner. But really, don’t leave your dog tied up on the street.

  • To the OP:

    I am so sorry that this happened to you, and I hope that you find your sweet dog.

    I do not have a dog, but seems perfectly reasonable to me that you would leave a dog tied up for a short period of time while you run into a store to pick something up. Do not believe the comments on this blog implying that it is your fault that this happened. It is not. It is the fault of the low-life dog thief that stole your dog. Would it have happened if the dog was not tied up outside the store? No – but that does not make it your fault.

    Again, I hope you get your dog back. This is just horrible.

    • Yes. Thank you.

    • Yes, the low-life who stole the dog is at fault, but it’s also true that the dog’s owner should have exercised a certain level of care to prevent the dog from being stolen.
      Assuming the OP is familiar with this blog, s/he surely has come across similar threads warning against leaving your dog tied up outside. So I’d say s/he bears some responsibility for what happened to her dog.

    • When I have something very valuable that I love and am entrusted to care for I routinely leave it on the sidewalk in front of a grocery store.

      What? It’s perfectly reasonable and it’s only for a minute.

      BTW, after I give birth, I plan to do the same with my child.

    • +1.

      FWIW, until I read some of the comments, I could not understand why someone/anyone would steal a dog. The bait/fighting thing simply didn’t occur to me. And I work in criminal justice, so I think about crime all day. I just didn’t think of this one. That is, no need to be snippy… It’s not obvious to someone who comes from somewhere where there isn’t dog fighting.

    • 1. It’s illegal. 2. Still illegal. 3. Everyone else is subjected to the dog’s behavior while the owner is in the shop not minding his or her dog. 4. The owner was entrusted to take care of this dog which reasonably does not include leaving it somewhere and walking away. Fwiw, I have a dog, hope the owner gets his or her dog back, and hopes the owner realizes his or her mistake and never does this again.

  • Sorry you lost your dog.

  • I am so so sorry that someone stole your dog. To be honest I think this may be a small dog vs. big dog issue. I think people very easily approach small dogs. I won’t post whether or not I think it was good or bad idea as it is not helpful. What I will say is:
    1) I have a big dog and I leave him tied up outside ALL OVER the city. I think since he is big nobody bothers him. And all these people on here going crazy about why would you tie your dog up outside are minimally unreasonable and possibly (probably) crazy. Don’t listen to them.

    2) I really hope you get your dog back. It doesn’t matter if it was 2 months or 2 hours, we get attached to the little furry ones very very quickly.

    • I’m going to get your big dog next time you tie him up.

      • I hope you try. And then you better hope I am back quickly so I can pry your hand out of his mouth.

        • and then he’ll sue you. great.

        • Nah dogs love me. Especially when they are left alone outside and are looking for reassurance from someone.

          It is absolutely not a big dog/little dog issue, it is a common sense issue. If you have the aforementioned sense you do not leave your dog unattended outside.

          As someone above noted it is actually illegal to do so, so there is that, too.

    • Yeah, not so much. Molly (stolen from in front of P St. Whole Foods) was a Viszla, not exactly a tiny dog. With tying up big dogs ( and frankly any dog for that matter), I think you run risks besides having him stolen. If Mary Jane thinks she should let her dog make friends with your tied up big dog (which in this city, is an entirely likely scenario), can you guarantee your dog wouldn’t get irritated with the other dog and snap? Likewise if little Johnny decided to poke Big Dog in the nose with a stick?

      I have two larger dogs, and while they are generally good-natured, I understand that dogs by nature aren’t always predictable (hell, neither are us humans) and wouldn’t put them in a situation to be part of a problem. Particulary with a big dog, where even if it is provoked beyond belief, the presumption of guilt always seems to be against it.

    • This is laughable.

      First you say you won’t post whether you think it’s a good idea or bad idea, and then go on to say that you do it yourself, which is tacit approval.

      Then you assail those of us who think it’s a bad idea as probably crazy, before wishing harm upon a poster below, who cannot possibly know you, your dog, or anywhere you tie it up outside, which isn’t probably crazy… it’s absolutely crazy.

      So go on. Tie your dog up outside, unattended, wherever you want in the city. If someone comes along and steals it, you know where not to come for help.

    • This attitude is one of the reasons why non-dog owners hate us. p.s. I know of people reporting unattended dogs to WHS for pick up.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Check out this post and discussion on why not to hitch your dog to a post. AKC says dog thefts are up.

  • I can’t for the life of me understand the self-righteous and downright mean responses to this post.

    Personally, I don’t see why it is some sort of crazy unacceptable cruelty leaving a dog unattended. Why the hell are we blaming the victim? Why does this make him/her an unfit dog owner?

    people are saying there’s a dog fighting scene, but I for one, had no idea dogs are kidnapped left and right for this purpose. Maybe. But I’ve lived here for many years and haven’t heard of it more than once or twice. I see dogs tied up outside of stores all the the time and it seems pretty normal to me. I just stop and pet them.

    poor puppy. poor owner. hope he’s found soon!

    • Just because people do it, doesn’t make it right, or an example of good judgment.

      Are you a dog owner? Because if you are, I’d be really surprised if you had never heard stories of dog stealing – maybe not “left and right” but it is more common than one might think.

      In fairness to the OP, though, sometimes dogs are even stolen out of owners’ backyards (but which goes to the unattended point made above).

      While I agree that it is unfortunate that so many pile on the OP, I think people get upset because they care – and that’s a good thing. My dog ran away several years ago, and I never would have found her without the help of dog-loving strangers.

    • Ok, here is a question:

      Would you ever leave your child tied up outside a store?

      Ok, would you pull up to a store, leave your car running and unlocked while you went about your shopping?

      No again, gee…

      The level of cognitive dissonance with dog owners in this town is astounding. Just last weekened I sat outside having brunch in a resturant where a dog sat tied up for nearly 2 hours while its owner ate. The owner way in the back fo the resturant where he couldn’t see squat. The thing got stepped on once, and whimpered dang near the entire time.

      What kind of selfish pricks are you to leave your dog unattended? Every time I see a dog tied up outside a store or resturant in this town I really bad that it clearly has a d-bag owner.

      I chalk it up to a severe case of self obsessivness tied to a poor upbringing.

      • Yea, I can’t get over the contradiction that dog owners who supposedly “love” their pets turn right around and willingly abandon them on the sidewalk to whatever perils might come along.

        Sure, stores don’t let dogs in…but in that case, don’t take your dog to a store.

        If you are too busy to keep your dog walking and shopping separate, maybe you should reconsider taking responsibility for a living being that requires conscious care. Get a fish.

      • That’s not a fair argument because you can’t take dogs into grocery stores, but you can certainly take kids.

        And I’d have no problem leaving my 11 year old kid at the entrance of a store saying “Wait for me.” My mom did it to me all the time if I didn’t feel like going in.

    • Hold on, let’s say hypothetically that the dog wasn’t stolen, and just got loose and ran off? Would that still be considered blaming the victim? Would you still have so much sympathy for the owner?
      It was a dumb thing to do no matter how it happened. Common sense tells you not to leave a dog, a living creature under who is under your care, tied up outside while you’re running errands.

      Oh well, I hope the pup is fine and the OP finds him.

  • Did they ever recover Molly? I never heard whether she was found or not.

  • Molly!

    Side Note: Why is my CAPTCHA Code ‘4STD’!?!?

  • claire

    A question to commenters here who are opposed to leaving dogs tied up outside: Do you do anything if you see someone’s dog tied up outside/do you think other people should do something? It seems rude to make an announcement asking for the owner in whatever store the dog is outside of and also rude/probably is unappreciated to wait and talk to the owner when they emerge. I’ll admit to feeling concern when I see dogs tied up outside (for fear of the very situation that happened to our unfortunate OP) but hesitate to get myself involved in someone’s business . . .

    • I can’t say I always have, or I always should. Just as I don’t do something when I see other acts of arguably irresponsible behavior (whether that is selfish of me, y’all can judge). But I have done something when I see a dog that (1) is outwardly distraught (I don’t mean whining, but shaking or trying hard to escape), (2) people are pestering or provoking the dog, or (3) the dog’s body language gives off the “I feel backed into a corner” look. In those circumstances, it’s clear that there is a good chance the dog (and/or its provokers) will get hurt.

      • EDIT: “Just as I don’t ALWAYS do something when I see other acts of arguably irresponsible behavior.” I don’t want to get ripped up and down too bad… 😉

    • Depends on the state of the dog, I suppose. Usually the dog looks quite comfortable and is just mellowing out on the sidewalk. If it is clearly uncomfortable, aggravated, or scared, or if somebody seems to be messing with it, then I’d probably get involved, even if it’s just going into the store/cafe/whatever and making an announcement.

      Usually nothing ill comes of leaving a dog tied up outside for a short period of time – but it’s still a bad idea.

  • someone please educate me… i am not a dog owner and not really partial to them (i grew up with a cat)….. I am totally appalled that people steal dogs in this city… that’s insane. what is the OP supposed to do if she has to run into an establishment that does not allow dogs? what’s acceptable behaviour? is there any other recourse besides coming back another time? i mean, i see people out with their dogs all the time and most establishments aren’t partial to dogs visiting soooo…… what do y’all do?

    • OP, hope you find your pup… and don’t take comments here too seriously, commenters on PoP tend to get fired up about things like dogs, bikes, and rentals…

    • Leave them at home. It’s not hard. I know dog people are typically super needy (and hence seek friendship with another needy animal), but it’s okay to cut the cord every now and then. You don’t have to take it driving, shopping, and eating with you.

      • Hi Veronika,

        I think if you’ve never owned a dog, it can be hard to grasp the sacrifice need to properly care for it (though if you have a kid, then you know all too well). You really just shouldn’t take the dog to places where you know ti can’t stay with you. Yeah, its inconvenient as hell, but so are all the HH hours I miss b/c I must go home to take care of my dog. But I made the choice to sacrifice this when I rescued him (and I’m happy to do it, he’s worth it).

        My point being, that most responsible dog owners just learn to cope the way new parents do when their infant inhibits certain activities. You pay for a dog walker, you make the time to run errands without the dog, etc.

        I just want to add that I’m mostly amused by how fired up the commenters can get about some things, this issue is worth getting angry about. People do it all the time, and its poor decision making, not just because the dog may not like it, but for all of the practical, economical reasons too (it might bite someone, it might get loose and run into traffic, it might get stolen).

        I don’t know, maybe everyone is being too harsh on the OP, but I tried tying my dog up once, once, and I didn’t even get past the store entrance because it just seemed like such a bad idea. So I figured it out on my own, and so have many others.

        Sorry, just my two cents.

  • what i like to do is point out to all victims of crime all the reasons that they are idiots and berate them for any little thing they have done that actually caused the crime to occur. i like to make them feel as guilty as possible because they probably don’t feel bad enough about the crime. and driving a hammer onto the head od people feeling despair makes me feel great!

    • I don’t see the OP as the victim here, rather the stolen dog. No need to have sympathy for the owner who carelessly left the dog tied up outside. I hope the thief stole the little pup for his/her children and not as bait to be torn to bits by training dogfighting dogs. What a horrible way to go. I volunteer and foster with a rescue and we tell ALL our adoptees about the dangers of leaving dogs tied up or even in the backyard unattended, we are specially careful to inform those who live in the city.

      Again, the OP is not the real victim here.

  • Is there no equivalent of a bike lock for a dog? Seems like a good invention to me.

  • I am SO sorry your dog got stolen…this makes me sick. Did the witness get a description of the guy? What his bike looked like?

    I’m sorry people are being such assholes on this post too. You just got the dog, and were trying to do the right thing by getting him from a shetler, caring for him, taking him with you places. I dont tie my dogs up outside but I have been living in DC for a long time and have heard the horror stories, but I used to tie them up outside all the time before I moved here. They loved going on outings and watching the scene outside the grocery store.

    I pray that he is safe and you’ll get him back. I hope the guy who stole him perishes a painful, slow death

  • Sorry some a-hole stole your dog, and doubly sorry you are getting gang-slapped by know-it-alls. I have lived here 10 years, had dogs for all but 6 months between the death of one and adoption of another, and I had never heard about dogs getting stolen like this. So don’t let the haters get to you. And trying to equate tying a dog outside while you grab a gallon of milk to leaving a kid outside in the same situation is ridiculous. Get a grip, people.

    • You’re right, a dog is not a child.

      But, it’s also not a bicycle, a scooter, an elephant, or any other list of things people aren’t supposed to bring into a grocery store.

      A dog, as you know, is a living being that takes human care to thrive. And small, good-natured dogs aren’t realistically able to protect themselves from scum who would steal them.

      So, rather than call everybody here an asshole, consider that the community is rightly agahst by the irresponsibility of leaving a defenseless animal to alone to the whims of a city where city things like theft can happen.

      I hope the OP gets his/her dog back. But his/her behaviour suggests maybe he/she needs to think twice about the responsibility of caring for a dog.

  • OP, I hope you find your dog and I am sorry some piece of crap stole it. I do take my dog with me to places (e.g., coffee) , but he is right next to me.

    I think many people can learn a lesson from this. But people let’s try to help this person, who is desperate to get her dog back by getting the word out.

    Regardless of the topic, I find commenters on this site to be particularly mean, snarky, and judgmental.

  • I think I recall a similar story a few years ago where someone’s dog was tied up outside of Whole Foods. I believe that the owner posted fliers in local pet food stores and one of the employees at Petco on CT Ave recognized the dog when the new owner/thief brought him in. something to try, and then hopefully, lesson learned.

  • 106 comments and no one pointed out the obvious reason to not leave your dog tied up outside even in the absence of roving gangs of dogfighting bait stealers. You really have no control over what your dog might do. What happens when your perfectly trained well-behaved dog gets his tail stepped on by a toddler and decides to lunge at or bite the toddler? (besides 100 PoP posts blaiming the toddler’s mom….)

    This example seems especially important in this case where the dog was rescued and had only been with the owner for 3 weeks. That’s not enough time to know what the dog went through or know how the dog would react to all different stimuli and situations. I have a nearly 6 year old dog and I would never leave him where I could not see him and control the situation.

  • Might want to read again, a number of commenters, including me, pointed this out. I agree that it’s a serious risk, moreso perhaps than the dog being stolen.

  • While dogs do get stolen for dog fight bait, resale, and by crazy people – I think the rumored incidence rate of such thefts have risen to the level of urban legend.

    it happens, but I dont believe its that often. I would imagine that the likelihood of some thug-in-training stealing it to sell for bait is as likely as some self-righteous hipster stealing it and taking it to the shelter to teach the owners a lesson.

  • First of all, sorry to the OP. That’s a horrible
    situation, and I hope your dog gets found.

    As for almost everyone else: Wow. Honestly, what a bunch of hectoring assholes here.

    90% of the self-righteous commenters here are acting like leaving a dog outside for ten minutes is roughly equivalent to grand larceny. Please, get over yourselves.

    Believe it or not, many dogs — not all, of course, but many — actually enjoy being tied up outside for a spell. They can relax, see/sniff other dogs, and enjoy the outdoors rather than being cooped up in an apartment.

    It all depends on the dog. Dog owners (of which I am one) can usually figure out if their dog is happy being tied up outside or not, and proceed accordingly.

    This is an awful situation. But it’s not like the OP was doing something rash or untoward with their animal. S/he tied it up outside, like hundreds of other dogs are a day, and some asshole stole it. Keep your eye on the ball, people.

  • Our friends had their basset hound stolen from outside a Blockbuster. After posting lost fliers all over the place, they got a call from someone in SE who said they “found the dog wandering in their neighborhood” and demanded a reward.
    Good chance that you will be contacted by the thief and asked for money. Call the police and don’t pay or you continue the cycle and more people will have theirt dogs stolen.

    • Look at the pictures — not even close.

      The one above is a Brussels Griffon; the one shown on Frozen Tropics is a Yorkshire Terrier. They don’t look at all alike.

  • Is this the dog?

  • It’s amusing that the commenters on this blog get so self-righteous about caring for dogs and, on repeated occasions, show such little humanity when discussing problems involving people. I hope the OP gets her dog back soon.

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