Stolen Boston Terrier Puppy, Returned Safely!


Ed. Note: Now that we got the great news – you may unleash (no pun intended) your recriminations at will!

From an email:

“Maggie, the Boston Terrier puppy who was stolen from a car in downtown DC yesterday afternoon, is finally home with her owners tonight.

The person who found Maggie contacted the Steels today after seeing multiple news reports, so thank you for your coverage. It was instrumental in getting her back safely!”

170 Comment

  • “who found Maggie”

    Un huh…Thief saw on the news that the owners were willing to pay $10K for the dog, so they simply returned it with the story that they found the dog wandering the streets.

    Not a bad days pay.

    1. Steal dog from car
    2. ?
    3. Profit



      There I fixed it for you.

      • +1 for also anon.

      • +1 And dog owners who leave their dogs unattended, you’re now on notice that the going rate for your dog is $10K so think hard if you really need to run that errand right now.

      • Eh, I wouldn’t be so quick to rush to judgement here. I adopted a purebred puppy from a shelter after she was abandoned. I wouldn’t want people to automatically assume I support puppy mills just because I have a purebred dog.

        • My issue isn’t purebred dogs in general, just people that buy purebred dogs from a pet store knowing the dog came from a puppy mill which these owners said they did in an article in The Washington Post.

        • I’m pretty sure it was confirmed to be purchased from a puppy mill in one of the many articles, but others who followed it more closely could verify that.

        • The WaPo story stated that they bought the puppy from a pet store in NJ.

        • houseintherear

          Thanks for saying this. I’ve gotten yelled at on the street before with my Westie, who was actually a puppy mill rescue… don’t judge a book, peeps.

          • I LOVE Westies. I cannot wait to get one one day…from the Maryland Westie Rescue, of course πŸ™‚

          • houseintherear

            Md Westie Rescue is so so so awesome- and yay for Westies!

          • Seriously? wtf people.

          • Yeah, people will judge for anything, sorry. The week I adopted my underweight 4 mos old puppy someone accused me of starving her. I think the joke may be on me though since she tripled her size and weight in 6 months.

      • Ally

        Owner is Boehner’s spokesman; clear there are some judgment issues at play here. That being said, no one deserves to have their dog stolen, and so glad the dog is safe and back home with the owner.

        • Yeah, it’s a little disconcerting that the ire is directed at, “OMG Puppy Mill!” and “You left your furbaby in a CAR, you war criminal!” rather than the fact that someone smashed a window and stole a dog.

          • If they hadn’t left the dog in the car, there wouldn’t be an opportunity to steal her. I wouldn’t leave my macbook lying on a car seat anymore then I would leave a puppy. The political party/status of the owners doesn’t matter; their lack of common sense is galling, especially when juxtaposed with their quotes of how much they love their “dog baby”.

        • Nah, I had plenty of judgment for these people before I saw an article today that said he was Boehner’s spokesperson. Even on a 50 degree day, the inside of a car can get HOT. A lot of child-in-car deaths occur in the spring and fall because people think “oh, it’s cool outside, my kid will be fine in the car for a little while.” Just as likely as theft, the person who smashed the car could have done so to save the dog.

      • +10,000

      • Fix what? I didn’t ask for you to fix anything. A puppy is a puppy no matter where it came from. It’s not their fault if they were a product of a puppy mill or 2 dogs doing it in an alley.

        The fact is that this dog was left alone in a car. That’s just wrong.

      • YES.


      • Damn straight, Also Anon

      • +1

    • I admit I did it the other morning for a 10 min stretch at 8am last week so I could get breakfast and coffee at Bullfrog Bagels on H ST NE before I dropped my dog off at Atlas Vet for surgery. My dog is used to running errands with me from our 5 years living overseas, but note there really isn’t anywhere to tie a dog up in that area.

  • Glad he’s back home. Still waiting for good news on the missing Welsh Terrier puppy, Geoffrey, from last week πŸ™

  • samanda_bynes

    yay! these other commentators are dumb. glad ya got the pup back.

    • i wouldn’t say people are dumb for being upset that someone would support the horrific conditions of puppy mills and then leave said SICK puppy in their car for an extended period of time. There is nothing wrong with wanting to educate people about where pet store puppies come from and why you should never ever buy from a pet store. Additionally, leaving your sick pet in a car while you are gone for more than just a few minutes is a bit much. Perhaps this person really didn’t know anything was wrong with what he did, but I sure hope other people will now learn from his mistake.

      • Maybe i missed the memo here, but where did it say they bought her from a pet store/puppy mill?

      • Never knew that it was taboo to get a dog from a pet store. Is one supposed to use shelters only? This is all news to me.

        • Pet stores get their supply from puppy mills. If you’re unfamiliar with what a puppy mill is, google at your own risk. It’s horrific. It’ll absolutely make your stomach turn the conditions the breeder dogs are kept in. Additionally, due to bad breeding, many puppies end up sick or with severe health problems that will end up costing you a fortune (case in point this puppy. My parents also stupidly bought a puppy from a pet store before I could stop them and she has had to have three very costly surgeries to fix her bad legs).
          If you feel you MUST buy a dog (there are so many great dogs in shelters and rescues I’m not sure why you would feel this way), do a lot of research and find a legitimate breeder (not what is referred to as a backyard breeder, a.k.a. some schmuck who just breeds any two dogs together and sells them for a huge profit. A real breeder does not make much money, if any. They breed for temperament and health, not just looks).
          Anyway, I am strongly against breeding due to the number of adoptable animals that are killed in shelters each year, but again, puppy mills and backyard breeders are just the worst of the worst and pet stores are supplied by puppy mills. Some municipalities have even banned pet stores from selling dogs due to this.

          • Thanks, anon. I have known and been familiar with the horrors of puppy mills and dog breeding for a while and would never purchase a puppy this way. What I do have a question about is the dogs who are already in pet shops, etc. I realize they’re there because of the demand, but the puppies are already alive and need to be placed somewhere, preferably in a great home with loving owners. A lot of people are giving this couple a hard time, but what would happen to the dogs if no one were to buy them? Definitely not being sarcastic or anything, I genuinely would like to know what’s the ideal solution moving forward? Report the pet shops?

          • “…but what would happen to the dogs if no one were to buy them?”
            The pet shops would go out of business. Demand would be lower, so puppy mills would actually stop breeding. Those puppies in the stores that go unsold would end up in shelter where they can be adopted for a low fee (without profits flowing to unscrupulous individuals). The cause and effects are easy to see. By giving money to the pet shop owners, you just exacerbate the problem.
            The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of animals since there are not homes for all of them.

          • I get it, I really do. That is unfortunately the logic that pet stores hope people will follow. By “rescuing” these dogs from pet shops, you are unwittingly perpetuating the cycle of mill breeding. If there was simply no demand for pet store puppies, they would stop selling them. Yes, unfortunately some puppies would suffer because they were not purchased, but compared to the thousands every year, it is the price that would have to be paid to stop this practice.
            In an ideal world, unsold puppies would be given to rescues, but I would not count on that happening. It’s kind of a “sacrifice the few to save the many” situation, which sucks, I know, but that’s what would have to happen.
            Also, to answer your question further, many jurisdictions have extremely loose rules on what counts as a puppy mill, so reporting the pet shop would most likely do very little. The best way to stop it is to just not patronize any pet shop that sells puppies and let them know that is why you will never be their customer.

          • Got it – thank you both for your replies. I do not have a pet (yet), so I don’t know all of the ins and outs of pet ownership. Of course stuff to learn before having a pet one day.

        • It’s my understanding that a reputable breeder is far better than a pet store since you can meet the breeder, see the conditions, etc. I’m biased towards shelter dogs myself but I get that some people really want a specific breed.

          • Actually lots of “reputable” breeders that appear to be above board still run puppy mills. They don’t show you that and you are never certain the clean, well kept dog they show you and claim to be the mother is actually the mother. Time and again you see that when puppy mills get busted.

          • For folks who want a specific breed there are dedicated rescues. One can find any purebred dog the heart desires. And that’s true even for the yuppie-dog-of-the-month crowd (currently Doodle variations). Many people buy dogs for their family for the holidays and then discard at rescues and shelters within a couple of weeks or months once they realize it’s a living thing requiring love and attention. Ex.

          • Pedantic side note: “Doodles” are not purebreds.
            But your point stands — there are rescue groups for pretty much every breed, and apparently for certain mixed-breed “designers dogs” too.

  • ah

    But what about Havoc?

  • why isn’t anyone saying HOW the dog was found? seems suspicious.

    hope the owners learned a lesson.

    • Really? You don’t think an unnamed teenager just happened to randomly come across the dog, still in the carrier, more than 24 hours after it was stolen, near the Petworth Metro? That the thief either (i) not knowing anything about the reward, serendipitously just dumped the dog and carrier where an enterprising youth would find it, or (ii) was so spooked by the press coverage and decided to jettison the animal without any effort to collect the reward for the dog’s return? What’s implausible about that? Sheesh, you’re so cynical.

  • I’m sure there will be judgment enough about the reward amount, so I’ll be judgy about an ancillary issue: outside of a rescue situation , NO ONE should be buying a newborn pup from a pet store on a whim. Dogs should stay with their moms for at least two months and pet stores aren’t famous for their ethical breeding and acquisition. And just like a kid, you NEVER leave it in a car out of your sight line unless absolutely necessary. I’ve done a lot of dumbass stuff as a pup parent but this is pretty over the top.

    • Those decisions sound par for the course for someone who treats a little dog as an accessory.

    • I think there has also been tons of judgment on both “ancillary issues” you raise as well.

  • Let’s just get it over with:

    – Don’t buy a puppy from a pet shop. They come from puppy mills. Puppy mills are abusive and terrible. Rescue. If you must buy a dog for whatever (wrong) reason find an accredited, humane breeder. But really just don’t buy dogs.
    – Don’t leave your dog in your car. Even on a mild day the temperature can escalate quickly.
    – Don’t just throw $10,000 out there to the person who stole your dog. They’re going to steal more dogs.
    – Microchips reunite dogs and owners all the time. This dog should have had one. Puppy mills don’t do that for you.

    I’m still glad the dog is home though. She didn’t choose her owners.

    • The dog had a chip, but those require some act on the part of the finder I.e. Going into a vet or rescue to have the dog scanned.
      Getting a dog chipped is pretty simple; mill or not.

      • Yeah its pretty simple to get chipped. It was offered when I had my puppy neutered, though it was already done by my very humane and accredited breeder (absolutely the right decision for me).

    • I am not sorry, I need my dog to be small and non-shedding (allergies and travel by plane) and the shelters don’t really have mini doodle puppies. It is sad that so many dogs need rescuing but I am simply NOT EVER going to get a pibble mix or shaggy shepherd. I have grown up with non-shedding toy breeds and went to a reputable breeder. Of course I am against puppy mills, but you’ll probably still judgy me for my little purebred pup. Are you also judging the owners of Lexington the missing Yorkie, or Geoffrey the missing Welsh Terrier?

      • It’s not about YOU. Stop being so defensive.

        • I can understand someone being defensive when they’re told that _their_ choice to purchase a dog from a reputable, caring breeder is wrong.

          • Actually, everyone is criticizing this couple for purchasing a dog from a pet store. While I’m definitely biased toward rescue (been volunteering for 10 years now), a reputable breeder is a far better choice than a pet store, online breeder (aka puppy mill) or backyard breeder. I admit I get a bit sad when someone tells me they bought their dog rather than rescuing (as you can find any breed you want in rescue, really), but buying from a reputable breeder is not what is in question here.

          • my comments were not about the couple, but directed at the posts above.

      • One of my best friends adopted two purebred miniature poodles about two years ago from a poodle rescue nearby. There are plenty of purebred rescues out there as well.

        • +1. My small non-shedding bichon mix was a rescue, as was my sister’s small non-shedding poodle mix. There are lots of breed-specific rescue organizations, and if you’re just looking for the criteria you mention, small and non-shedding, it’s even easier to find rescue dogs.

          • “But Daddy! I want a hypoallergenic Oompa-Loompa now!”
            That would require patience and perhaps driving a few hundred miles to pick up the dog from a reputable breed-specific rescue outfit. Quelle horreur.

          • Anonymous — unfortunately, depending on the breed, a lot of rescues won’t necessarily allow you to travel more than a hundred miles or so with the dog. This is completely situation-specific, but I don’t think we should be casting TOO wide of a criticism net here towards specific individuals when we are completely unaware of their personal circumstances.

        • I think many people don’t know about purebred rescues. They only think about the shelters which while great certainly aren’t the only game in town.

      • Tsar of Truxton

        First, there are many, non-shedding, hypo-allergenic dogs in shelters, and no, they are not all “doodles” (not talking about poodles here). Second, there is no such thing as a reputable “doodle” breeder. By default, mixing breeds intentionally to create an expensive designer-breed is unethical breeding (solely for profit).

      • There are rescues for every type of breed. Every type. Please do some further research.

        • I’m not siding with those who say there’s not rescues for all breeds (I agree) but to play devil’s advocate: don’t most of these purebred rescues (from my experience) require you to live within a certain radius to adopt from them? While we may have many options in DC, there are lots of places in the U.S. that just don’t have an abundance of rescue options, unfortunately.

      • Every mini doodle cockapoo whatever owner I hear always claims they JUST HAD to pay for their dog specifically to suit their allergy needs as if somehow that is very different than I JUST HAD to pay for a purebred [insert name of breed] for [insert nonsense reason people use to justify a horrible practice of overbreeding and selling animals].

        There are plenty of poodles in rescues and shelters. Try again.

      • It’s cute that DogOwner8865 bought into the Doodle marketing, but as people who know what they are talking about will tell you, there is no such thing as a dog that doesn’t shed. Some just shed less. Information is your friend.

        Also, saying “but I am simply NOT EVER going to get a pibble mix or shaggy shepherd” makes me wonder why you have a dog. I have a dog for the companionship and love. Any dog, mixed or purebred can provide love and companionship. It sounds to me like your motivation to have a dog is inspired by some misinformed status seeking. All dogs are worthy of love.

        Finally, for someone who is “not sorry” you sure are defensive over a post that is not even about you. You may want to reexamine your feelings.

      • Uh…I have a small -doodle from a rescue. Took some time and travel (by plane) to get him, but, in the end, it took me just a few months (and I found both him and a purebred mini schnauzer (relinquished by owner due to owner’s health issues) on the same day!) and he doesn’t bother my allergies unless he’s overdue for a bath.

    • Depending on the time of day, and the season I, at times, run errands with my (rescued and microchipped) dog and leave her in the car. Having had her for 14+ years, and spending lots of time with her in the car, and elsewhere, I know how well she does in various temperatures. I also know her temperament, and what she likes and does not like.

      So I am not part of the crew that supports a general ban on leaving pets in cars (or tied out ). But I do agree that it’s not for all dogs and depending on the weather, and how long the dog is to be left in the vehicle, it is usually in the dog’s best interest to leave it at home.

      My dog went on a road trip with me this past weekend. We stopped for bathroom breaks. She was left in the car while I went inside. It happens. My windows are always half open — enough for air circulation but not enough for her to escape/be grabbed. My alarm is always on (which she sets off when she moves around). And she always has water. I always follow those simple rules, and we have never had any issues. In fact, she’s doing pretty awesome.

  • The amount of attention this missing dog has gotten is unwarranted. But putting that aside, I just hope the teen (who I assume had nothing to do with the original taking) enjoys the generous reward. But for the love of all that is good and holy, I also hope the teen does not blow all that money on a high school prom that won’t mean much in the short run, let alone the long run.

    • “(who I assume had nothing to do with the original taking)”
      I doubt the teen who collected the reward is the one who broke the window and originally snatched the dog (if only because that would be the height of stupidity). But do I believe that she just randomly happened on the little critter sitting outside by the Petworth metro? I do not. Likely, she has a sibling/cousin/friend/whatever who did take the dog, and offered to split the reward if she’d say that she fortuitously discovered the abandoned Maggie on the street. But then again, I’m not a great believer in the innate goodness of the average person, so who knows.

      • Tsar of Truxton

        Couldn’t they look at the metro footage at the metro she “found” the dog at to verify this? I can’t believe they just handed her a check for 10k without doing some investigation into her story!

        • Please, let’s not waste any public resources on this. They did something dumb, it cost them $10k, the dog is fine, end of story.

          • Thank you. The dog is safe, a lesson was learned (hopefully), and wealth was spread

          • We should spend public resources on this because theft is theft. And criminals who take things that do not belong to them should be punished.

            I’m a bit tired that we waste public resources on things that are actually not incarcerating people who steal other peoples’ stuff. This city has to stop pretending like it is just a cost of living here that you should anticipate having someone take your belongings.

        • Well, they promised $10,000 for the return of the dog. They expected that they’d pay it (perhaps) indirectly to the thief – they specifically made the reward larger than the resale value of the dog. Can’t really balk after the mutt was returned. And I agree that we shouldn’t expend public resources on this – I just find the “I happened to stumble across this winning lottery ticket outside the Petworth metro” story unbelievable.

  • Has it been confirmed that puppy came from a store? Or are people just making assumptions?

    I thought I had read elsewhere that it was a rescue from a puppy mill, with some health issues (Giardia) that required medication.

    • “Maggie β€” a pointy-eared, big-eyed pup with four white paws β€” came into the Steels’ life in February after they spotted her in a New Jersey pet store. β€œWe went in, picked her up, looked at each other and said, β€˜This is our dog,’ ” Steel said.”

      • Holy jeez these people are insufferable. That WaPo article makes them seem like a farcical exaggeration of the clueless, monied gentrifiers.
        Also, this story got tons of press because the husband is in PR and knows how to work his contacts. I’m also guessing he paid $10K basically to save his marriage.
        Lord have mercy on that poor dog; its owners have little in the way of common sense.

        • This is blatantly obvious when you read the correction at the bottom of the article: Corrections: An earlier version of this article said the dog was stolen Monday while the couple were running errands. She was taken on Tuesday, and it was only Michael Steel who had taken the dog out and was running errands.
          I can hear it now: “Michael, you call that reporter and you make sure they know I was NOT with you when you LOST our BABY!” Cue hysterics and the throwing of china that costs more than my car.

          • Snort. Hilarious.

          • ha!

          • Haaaaaaaaaaaa yep

          • -1000. I don’t like it when people generalize about a female’s hysterical behavior. Regardless of the other parts of this story that suggest their behavior towards this dog has been less than stellar, it’s terribly unfair to perpetuate that stereotype, of both the controlling emotionally-driven wife and the poor hapless husband who has to fix everything for her.

          • “… poor hapless husband who has to fix everything for her.”
            Oh, I don’t know if we’re perpetuating that sterotype here. I don’t blame the wife for wanting to distance herself from this as far as possible (especially if they’ve had marriage issues in the past). If anything, that makes her look smart and him look like an idiot.

          • There always has to be one who can’t take a joke, huh?

          • kanon, that’s my line! And I didn’t use it, ’cause Anonamom’s word-picture was hilarious.
            (anyway, you lost feminism points by referring to a human woman as a “female”)

      • And can I just say that, if the dog’s age was correctly given as currently four months old, and they bought her at a pet store in New Jersey in February, she was in no way old enough to leave her mother! 8 weeks is an absolute minimum, and 12 weeks is optimal.


  • That pun was intended. We know it. Maggie knows it. You know it.

  • Next up, they’ll probably tie it to a fence while going grocery shopping. I really don’t think these people should be dog owners. Why would someone leave their dog in a car by themselves for any amount of time, let alone 40 minutes. Take your dog home and then go out and do your errands. If this is not going to work with your lifestyle, then don’t adopt a dog.

    • Puhleeze. They do not walk to the grocery store.

    • Our dog loves walking everywhere with us, which on occasion means that we tie up our dog outside of certain establishments (coffee shops, grocery stores, etc.) while running errands. Is this a bad thing? We’re typically in and out in a few minutes, but I hardly think this makes us bad pet-parents. That being said, this story is making me rethink this habit a little…

      • Tsar of Truxton

        To answer your question, yes.

      • I recall a particularly terrible case some years ago of someone who tied their Vizsla up outside the P St Whole Foods. When the owner came back, the dog was gone. I don’t believe they ever did find who stole that dog, but there were signs all over the neighborhood for months. I was very sad for the owner, as I’m sure they did not realize something like that would happen. I cringe every time I see a dog left tied up now.

        • They did find the dog, and he/she was returned to their owner, because it was a lucky situation. The person who took the dog went to a local pet store and asked for Vizsla food…

          But many dogs are not as lucky. They are taken as bait dogs for fighting rings, or to homes where people cannot afford the $150 adoption fee shelters usually charge, and thus, can provide no veterinary care, etc.

          I understand the desire to leave your dog outside for convenience’s sake, but for me it’s just not worth the risk.

      • Dogs can be stolen for dog fighting as bait or fighters or to “rehome” on Craigslist for a $250 fee. Remember the Michael Vick dog fighting horror? That happened right in VA. Look up Bad Newz Kennels.

      • 1) the dog can easily be stolen
        2) it’s annoying for me because while my dog is friendly with people, she is not friendly with new dogs on walks. It’s easy to stand to the side and let someone pass when another dog is coming by, but every time someone leaves their dog on the sidewalk in front of a shop on a narrow sidewalk, I have to cross the street to avoid them. Now and then, I won’t see the dog tied up and laying down until my dog starts going apeshit and trying to go after the dog, and that could be a dangerous situation.

    • I tie my dogs up when I need to stop by CVS or safeway for last minute items. Then again, my dogs are an 85lb GSD and 60lb Belgian Malinios that dont particularly like strangers. No worries there. Dont be so judgmental.

      • Wait, so you leave two large dogs who don’t like strangers unattended where they can come in contact with strangers? What if they bite someone? As the owner of a large dog who does not like strangers, this horrifies me.

        • Yup, owners like Swdc are exactly the reason I am terrified of large dogs that are 1) unsupervised or 2) off-leash. Really not safe.

      • No worries that they’ll be stolen, maybe, but you just DGAF that they might bite someone? I think I’ll judge away.

        • This makes me sad for the dogs’ well-being also, not only the strangers that might unknowingly try to pet them and suffer for it (for the record, people, don’t ever touch dogs that aren’t yours without asking first!). The dogs must be extra stressed while they’re tied up with strangers walking all around them that they’re apparently fearful of.

        • SWDC didn’t say the dogs bit people/strangers. Perhaps stop reading so much into everything on here? I think SWDC is just making the point the dogs are unlikely to easily be walked away by someone they don’t know. That doesn’t mean they just snap at and grab up any small child that runs by and eats them.

      • I think I met Swdc and her dogs last night on the sidewalk in SE. The pups are very cute and well-behaved if this is the same person I’m thinking. Plus, Swdc is an experienced dog trainer. Did I get this right Swdc?

    • And if you are traveling with your dog? I drive five or six hours to visit family with my dog. Inevitably I have to stop to use the restroom, or run in and get a coffee or something or go in to pay for gas. Should I just leave the dog at home?

      It’s amazing that so many commenters here are ideal human beings who always know the right answer to everything. I hope I can continue to learn from all of you.

      • Leaving your dog in a locked car for a few minutes at a rest stop does not equal leaving a purebred sick puppy in a car for almost an hour in a neighborhood where car break-ins are a daily thing and dog fighting still occurs

        • I don’t think that the dog is purebred or sick has anything to do with it. I doubt that would have kept anyone from condemning that dude for leaving that dog in the car has it been a rescue mutt puppy that was perfectly healthy.

          Car break-ins do not regularly occur and 9th and K NW at 1pm in the afternoon. And no one steals a french bulldog for dog fighting.

          You’re just making up stuff to justify victim blaming here. And qualifying when it is or isn’t okay to leave a dog in a car unattended. It takes five seconds for someone to break a window and steal a dog so it is irrelevant as to whether the dog is in there for five minutes or forty minutes. Either you think it is wrong or it isn’t. And I simply noted that there are times when most dog owners probably do leave their dogs unattended outside of the home. Which brings up a good point, if someone breaks into my house where my dog is by himself and steals him, am I still a terrible person for leaving the dog there unattended? Or maybe, in that situation, the terrible person is the criminal (for once)?

          • Because it’s easier to resell a tiny cute purebred puppy than my giant middle aged mutt. Go on CL and look up all the tiny puppies being rehomed right now.

          • 1) That’s not a French Bulldog. It’s a Boston Terrier.

            2) Before they shot up in popularity and doubled in price, criminals didn’t mind using stolen Frenchies as bait dogs, because while they may be small, many of them don’t back down because they’re not submissive. It’s horrifying but it’s an “entertaining” spectacle.

            3) They’re too valuable for that now, so they try and breed them instead to make more Frenchies, or worse, Shorty Bulls. They get stolen constantly now.

          • Great, now we’re arguing over the merits of which breeds are used in dogbait fighting. As if this criminal mastermind gave one ounce of a damn what kind of dog it was he or she was stealing. I apologize for misrepresenting the very obvious popularity of using french bulldogs to bait pit bulls for dog fighting. Obviously everything else above is irrelevant now!

        • Exactly this. I travel with my dogs and have to stop at rest stops too. That is completely different from leaving your dog for an extended period of time in the middle of an urban environment where people will break your car window to steal loose change (never mind a puppy that would be worth well over $1K). Surely you can see how this is a different situation from someone leaving their dog in a safe location for just a few minutes?

          • 9th and K at 1pm is a very safe location. I am actually shocked frankly no one saw the person break the car window.

          • Mid april to mid May there were 18 -reported- thefts from auto near this intersection.

          • There have been six in the last two months according to the MPD website crime map. One of which was this crime. And none of which provide any details on the day/time of the incident.

            I’d say it the likelihood of your car being broken into at 1pm on a weekday there is vastly different than at 1am.

          • “I’d say it the likelihood of your car being broken into at 1pm on a weekday there is vastly different than at 1am.”
            And because I admit I’m feeling snippy today, Shawnnnn, do you have some sort of citation to prove this is accurate or are you just assuming it is?

      • it’s different in a compact city where thefts and crime are common. It’s a little different in the country. Or at a rest stop, for a few minutes.

        • Do you have some sort of citation to show this is accurate? Or are you just presuming/assuming it is?

          • Are you actually disputing that major cities have more crimes that suburbs or rural areas?

          • I’m not making the presumption, so I’m not sure I’m the one that needs to back it up. That said, I think rest areas probably see more crime than the surrounding areas they are located in as a general assumption. I do not think it’s an unfair question to say, do you know for sure that rest areas or gas stations with heavy long distance travelers have higher or lower than average crime rates than a fairly safe downtown area of DC in the daytime? I just do not accept the premise without some sort of backup. Okay, so yeah, maybe I do dispute it.

          • How about you go look it up if you’re so unconvinced, Shawnnnnnnnn? -_-
            People need to stop crying “But you’re making an assumption!” at every little thing. Wouldn’t it make you look like less of a jerk to look up the facts yourselves and then dispute it if you find that the OP’s facts are wrong? That’d make you look smarter. Rather than someone who just likes arguing.

          • How about I go look it up? Because I am not the one trying to make an argument here. I’m not trying to “look smarter.” I didn’t make the claim/assertion.

            I also never disputed that rural areas have less crime than urban ones. I was speaking specifically about rest areas or gas stations heavily frequented by people traveling. The entire point that seems to be lost is that people do, in fact, quite often (most everyone I know who owns a dog and a car) leaves their dog in a car to run in somewhere time and again. Most frequently for me is when I am driving long distances. Sometimes it just happens. I try to limit/minimize it. But it happens. And the point was simply that there seem to be a LOT of commenters here who just WOULD NEVER and they are so perfect and all. It’s tiresome.

      • Thank you Duponter. A voice of reason. The folks saying ‘never’ do this and ‘never’ do that with any and all dogs are, IMO, unrealistic.

  • This story is a testament to the fact that crime does pay. Also, these goons (the dog owners I mean) just set the stage for a lot of dognappings this summer, if you get the right dog it pays better than a summer job.
    So, who needs money for college?

    • I mean, now that DC has abandoned the plan to pay people to not commit crimes, the young entrepreneurs roaming the streets have to do SOMETHING. I’d prefer this to increased muggings, in all honesty.

  • General Grant Circle

    I love how angry some people on this comment thread are! Meanwhile bombs are dropping on Drs without borders, footbinding and FGM are practiced, a major US city is incapable of keeping poison out of its water….
    Glad the dog is home tho, and im sure with 10k dent in their wallet they will keep a more watchful eye

    • People can multitask. If you had a kid who is screaming and in need of medical aid, would you tell him to shut up because there is a war somewhere causing massive damage and that is screams are not that important compared to other problems? No, you take him to the hospital despite far worse things happening in the world.

  • Before judging too harshly on leaving the dog in the car, remember that it wasn’t a hot sunny day. Most places of business don’t let you take a dog in, and leaving a dog outside a business isn’t something I’d like to do either. There are those who would say “leave the dog at home,” but that’s not always an option. If you’re on your own with your dog, the car is probably the best place if it’s just for a few minutes. It’s just that DC *sucks* crime-wise.

    • Yeah, but taking your dog on a car ride to cheer him up and then leaving him in his carrier in the car for 40 mins doesn’t seem like such a cheery thing to do. The fact that there is a WaPo article about this means that we can judge them as much as we want. They deserve it.

    • Right. It wasn’t a few minutes though. It was 40 minutes. And the dog is sick with giardia. Do you know what giardia does? It’s not pleasant.

      • This! Steel’s ultimate retribution should have been when he returned to his car after 40 min. and found the carrier, and the car seat, soaked with stinky Giardia diarrhea!

    • “…if it’s just for a few minutes.”
      It wasn’t.

  • When I first saw this story here, I wondered if maybe it wasn’t a “dognapping” but someone “rescuing/liberating” a dog that had been left alone in a car. Sure, it wasn’t a 90 degree summer day – but you never know how long a dog has been left for (and some would argue any amount of time is too long). That has definitely happened before that someone smashed a window to get a dog out of a random car.
    In any case, I’m glad that the dog is OK.

    • That’s true. But most people just call the police.

      • Oh, totally – or animal control – or the humane society! From other stories I’ve seen like this though you don’t know how long the police will take to get there, or if the dog is in distress, and how long they’ve already been in there. And, as others have mentioned, if the dog was sick at the time it may have seemed like a dire situation. Not saying that this is is what happened – but it was my initial thought that it *could* have been.

    • Yeah, because exposing a dog to flying broken glass and/or whatever you used to break the window is so much better than letting him chill in the car.

  • Rave: Lost/stolen dog being found.
    Rant: Post about lost/stolen dog being found transformed into lengthy, self-righteous screeds about “puppy mills”

    • So you’re saying puppy mills are good? Or that anyone who objects more than you think they should about anything is a (making a? uttering a?) “screed?” Or maybe this is your own cranky self-righteous screed?

  • The only time my dog was tied up outside was when my husband was walking him alone and ran in to grab a napkin for a nose bleed. He came out literally less than a minute later to find someone trying to untie our dog and take him. DON’T LEAVE YOUR DOGS OUTSIDE UNATTENDED!!

  • The absolute worst thing that they could have done besides the owner leaving the dog in the car was to offer a $10k reward. I’m sure his wife told him he’d better find a way and he did. I just think that after this, all criminals and potential criminals now know that their dog is worth $10k and that puppy will need its own bodyguard, because people know their names, can figure out where they live, and will have their eyes on that dog. Sad to say, but they should’ve just offered a much smaller reward in hopes of the dog’s return. Someone is going to see that dog as a way to afford their bad habits.

    • “I’m sure his wife told him he’d better find a way and he did.”

      Yes, because the man is always in control of the finances and makes all the decisions for the poor wife who has to nag him to death to every get anything done!!! Women are so helpless, you know! They need their husbands to save the day!!

  • 90% of the comments are to discuss what terrible people/dogowners this couple is while a few actually mention anything about the person who committed the crime or the completely ridiculous explanation given by the savior who found the dog as to how she found the dog.

    And we wonder why people keep taking things from other people in this city. We’d rather blame everyone but the criminal for a crime. It’s just a part of life that we should accept living in DC that people will steal your stuff and almost nothing will happen to them, but you will probably be mocked or ridiculed for putting yourself in whatever situation you did to have that crime happen.

    People comment we shouldn’t spend public resources on this. On theft? We shouldn’t? BecaUse that couple is stupid, the person who stole the dog gets a free pass (and probably $10,000)? The reward is what encourages crime? Perhaps the lacksidaisical approach taken to criminal activity in this city by the police, the city council and generally the populace is what encourages crime. I’m sick of it.

  • Here’s the problem with the “The Reward Encourages Crime” argument: This crime occurred without any knowledge that there would be a reward.
    Assuming that the person who returned the dog had some connection to the theft of the dog – and there is absolutely no information establishing that assumption as fact – at the time the dog was taken there was no expectation of getting a reward. The thief presumably took the dog for some other reason – to keep for his or herself, to sell to someone, to use as bait in a dog fighting operation, whatever. The offer of a reward turned out to be fortuitous – again, assuming the thief is the person who returned the dog. The offer of a reward got the dog back. But the prospect of a reward did not inspire the crime because there was no reward on the table. Is it possible that there will be copycat crimes now? That people will start stealing nice looking dogs hoping that someone offers a reward? Maybe. But the reward had nothing to do with this theft.

    • From previous reports – it appears that the thief may not have known he was stealing a dog. It looked like a gym bag. He was an ordinary opportunistic thief, knowing that he had zero chance of repercussions, broke the window to steal the bag. Then – oops! There’s a dog in the bag. He could have just put it back, or left it on the sidewalk. But he took it. Maybe to keep, give to a girlfriend, his kids. Or maybe he was figured someone might offer a reward. Then bam – APB on the dog and a ridiculous reward. He got the girl to pretend she found it to collect the reward. Plenty of people know who he is.

      You can argue both sides about spending police resources to find him. This was an accidental criminal entrepreneur taking advantage of idiots. Perhaps if the plea had been – this puppy belongs to my daughter who has cancer – he might just have returned it.

  • They should have made the 10k reward contingent on passing a polygraph that they didn’t have any involvement or knowledge of the theft.

  • To all you perfect folks on here judging the owners and calling them “insufferable”: hard to think of anything more insufferable judging where someone else gets his/her dog. Maybe commenting that someone’s food isnt “organic” or “local” or whatever enough. If you are so much better than the owners, why don’t you put down your iPhone and go volunteer at the shelter. Seriously? I saw this post and was so happy for these people bc I can’t imagine having my dog stolen (I just had my elderly dog pass away, and it was devastating. Part of the family.) Then I read the comments and saw how many people had the reaction of “I’m so much better than these people for X, Y, Z reason so this wouldn’t happen to me.” That’s discussing. I hope y’all find some happiness and empathy one of these days.

    • Sorry for the type-os. I drafted after a couple of beers – and they weren’t even local craft beers. **judging!!!**

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