MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A dog rescued from a breeder and days away from going home to a new family has been dognapped from the Stanislaus Animal Service Agency shelter.
Now, the search is on for Radar and the thief who stole him.
“He was perfect. He was small, sweet. He was so gentle and incredibly adorable. I knew that he was going to be a perfect fit for my sister,” Maribel Garcia-Mendoza told FOX40.
Her sister’s 13-year-old Chihuahua, Princess, passed away recently.
Garcia-Mendoza then saw Radar the Miniature Pinscher.
“He had some similarities and reminded us a lot of Princess,” Garcia-Mendoza continued. “My sister with cerebral palsy had a special bond with her. She relied on her pet for emotional support.”
Garcia-Mendoza wasted no time after spotting Radar. She traveled from Livermore and camped out overnight at Stanislaus Animal Service Agency with her brother to be the first inside to adopt him.
It was love at first sight.
“We connected. We FaceTimed with family and they loved him just as much,” she said.
But just hours later, she got a call that Radar was stolen from his kennel.
“Our staff did not lock that kennel because they knew that the hospital staff were to come in shortly thereafter to take Radar and to be prepared for his neuter surgery,” said Annette Patton, the shelter’s executive director.
“So by 11 o’clock when the hospital staff went to Radar’s kennel, they recognized that Radar was no longer in there,” she continued.
Ceres police are searching for a woman caught on the shelter’s surveillance camera smuggling Radar out under her jacket.
Since Radar was taken, the shelter said they spent $12,000 on padlocks that will go on each kennel to make sure they’re locked so that this doesn’t happen again.
“I’d love to call Mirabelle and give her the news that this dog is back. No questions asked,” Patton said.
Garcia-Mendoza said they just want Radar back. They’ll take him, no questions asked.
“We’re just heartbroken that he was taken from us,” she said.
Both the Garcia-Mendoza family and the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency are asking anyone with information to contact the Ceres Police or bring Radar back to the shelter.