Losing your dog is a terrible experience, but one thing that can be even more frightening is your puppy will be stolen. That happened to the Lay family earlier this week – but this story has already had a happy ending and justice is coming for the criminal concerned.
Last Wednesday, the Lay family temporarily left their puppy Kai under the care of ARE Animal Rescue in Hemet, California. Kai is a fluffy 4 month old tricolor Welsh Pembroke Corgi puppy that was due to be neutered that day. After the procedure, Kai was taken to a kennel to rest and recover from his surgery, but was gone only an hour later.
The surveillance footage captured by ARE’s cameras shows a child entering the building with a young woman in a black sleeveless top not far behind. The woman informed the shelter staff that she was there to select a kitten for adoption and looked around while the staff helped other visitors.
@ AREAnimalRescue / FB
Kai’s kennel was not in a location where the theft was recorded, but shortly after the woman arrived she was caught by another camera with him in the arms. She and the child rushed out the door as fast as they could and were gone before anyone knew what was going on.
ARE staff were horrified to find that the puppy was gone. Amber Schlieder, the rescue owner, was broken when she had to call Kai’s family and explain that her puppy was missing. She was close to tears and told ABC7 about the terrible phone call that followed:
“It was honestly the toughest phone call I’ve ever had to make. To call her and say that someone just stole this baby from among us. Just stole that baby. “
@ LostPetsHemetCA / FB
The rescue immediately went to work spreading the word about Kai’s disappearance via social media and Kai’s family started posting flyers in the hopes that someone would see them and tell them where their pup might be and who had taken him. A police report was filed and they checked the surrounding shops to see if anyone caught her on camera carrying Kai away. A local news broadcaster met with the rescue and the family and broadcast the surveillance footage and news via Kai.
The police were called and detectives from the Hemet Police Department were involved. In just a few hours, they gathered enough information to point them in the right direction. Their work took them to a nearby house where they found 21-year-old Chanel Groffo and Kai.
Kai has been brought back to his loving family who are happy to have him back home.
@ HemetPolice / FB
Groffo was charged with stealing a dog and was held in Riverside County Jail on $ 10,000 bail. Despite the gravity of the crime she had committed and the pain she had inflicted on Kai’s family and rescue, she smiled in her mug shot.
@ HemetPolice / FB
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Thanks to the swift action of ARE Animal Rescue staff and Hemet Police Department detectives, Kai is back home with the people who love him, and we hope his kidnapper will soon pay the price for their crime.
H / T: ABC7.com