Therapy dog stolen in string of dognappings

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Dog owners in Grand Rapids are warning others after they say their Chihuahuas were stolen.

Cami Sawyer says her Chihuahua, Gracie, was taken from her front yard in northeast Grand Rapids on June 12. She says her neighbor witnessed a white van with Minnesota plates pull up, grab the dog and take off.

“We can’t sleep. We can’t eat. My granddaughter is extremely upset. She’s had that dog for seven years,” Sawyer said.

She added her granddaughter uses Gracie as a therapy dog.

“To us, it’s like you stole our child. We’re scared,” she said.

Sawyer started keeping a log of similar cases reported on Facebook.

In the past 12 days, she has recorded more than a half dozen Chihuahuas stolen in Grand Rapids. She believes the incidents are connected.

Dog owner Rayvon Morgan says his Chihuahua, Raven, was taken from his car.

He took the 3-month-old puppy to his office for the day. He says when it was time to head home, he loaded Raven into his car, cracked the window and returned to his office to lock up.

He came back 10 minutes later, but Raven was gone.

“They grab the dog and then they walk to the street,” Morgan said as he pointed to surveillance footage of the incident. “I’ve put up flyers. I’ve been going to the pounds. I called around. I’m scared and I just want her to be taken care of.”

Both dog owners say they’re concerned their animals are being sold or used for breeding. They say they’re desperate to know their animals are safe.

“We just ask that you think about how you would feel if you lost a loved one because these are our loved ones. These are our children. We need them back,” Sawyer said.

Grand Rapids Police Department says only one victim has made an official police report. However, they are aware of other cases.

Anyone with information is asked to call GRPD at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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