UPDATE: Moose was reunited with his family late Friday morning. The family says they got a call from police letting them know that pet yorkie had been found, five days of worrying now over as he is finally home with his family.
Niki Davis, Moose’s owner, says a family member of the woman who had claimed Moose as her own, when he had gone missing, went to her home and saw Moose sitting on the couch. He had recognized Moose from the news reports.
The detective shared with me that they were able to get in touch with a family member and that family member happened to have a key to this person’s house. Went over there found the dog on the couch and called law enforcement,” said Moose’s owner Jonathan Davis. “We owe that gentleman a depth of gratitude, just wonderful what he did for our family.”
Moose was then taken to the West Valley Animal Shelter to get his chip scanned.
Once police confirmed his identity they contacted the family this morning and he was reunited with his owners at the Salt Lake City Police Department. ABC4 was there and captured the emotional reunion as two Salt Lake City Detectives handed over Moose to his family. Niki Davis was in tears as she cuddled Moose in her arms.
“He looks great, I’m just so excited that he’s with us and he looks like his normal self, he went on a little adventure for a few days,” said Davis. “The more people that are aware of it, if you find a lost animal take it to the shelter. Taking it to the shelter is the first step. Don’t try posting it online because there are people out there that are looking.”
The family sent us the following picture after he got home. He is seen here in his bed alongside his sister, Muffin.
The Davis family says they will be going around and looking for anywhere in their backyard fence where they think Moose may have gotten out from. They also Moose’s chip was found on his shoulder but following this incident they will be making sure that Moose has his tags on him at all times.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Salt Lake family is making a desperate plea for help to find their missing Yorkie after he got out of the backyard, was found, then stolen and put up for sale.
He is part of our family and we’re just heartbroken over it,” says Moose’s owner Niki Davis.
She, her husband, her 4 year-old son and Moose’s sister, Muffin are devastated that Moose has been missing since Sunday.
“They’re [Moose and Muffin] are older and we’re just heartbroken over it. They depend on each other, and being older dogs, you know, yorkie’s only tend to live maybe 15 years and so they don’t have a lot of time. To take her brother at this point in her life it’s just cruel” said Davis. “We’ve got Muffin whose had her brother whom she’s bonded with, that she’s been with since she was born and our family — our 4 year-old son is heartbroken over it.”
Davis says it was sometime on Sunday night when 12 year-old Moose went missing after he snuck out of the backyard. The family did not know he had escaped until the next morning.
“Moose is an older dog and he has never been away from home,” says Davis.
Moose was found on Monday about a block down from their home by a neighbor but the neighbor did not know who the dog owner was.
Davis said that Moose is chipped and the neighbor actually took him to get checked but they couldn’t find the chip. Instead of taking Moose to a shelter, Davis says the neighbor posted a ‘lost dog’ ad online.
Someone saw it on there and unrightfully claimed our dog Moose as their own,” Davis said. “It’s sickening to think that there are people that could do something like this to a family.”
However, she says the neighbor became suspicious of the story the woman had given her about her ‘lost dog,’ but after she had given the dog away.
“She said she worked for a home healthcare company and that she was a home healthcare nurse and she was visiting someone in the Avenues and that’s when her dog jumped out of her car,” said Davis.
She says her neighbor went online to check if anyone was trying to sell a Yorkie dog online.
“Well, sure enough they went on there and there he was,” said Davis. “He was listed on there [KSL Classifieds] for $650 as a puppy. So, they called this person back and said ‘this is the dog that we gave you that you said that was yours,’ and it spooked them so they took the ad down.”
Davis even says the neighbor called police to report the encounter with the woman and that she had stolen a dog. Meanwhile, Davis and her family were unaware Moose had been stolen that Tuesday morning.
Still searching, she went online to see if Moose was being sold on any classified ads.
“A couple of hours later was when we finally got in touch with this neighbor, we found one of her postings online as well, and she had told us the unfortunate story that he had already been given away to someone else,” said Davis. “Now its just been this kind of whirlwind of trying to figure out who took him, where he is, and in doing my own research finding out that there are people who do this.”
The trend is called dog flipping. It’s when a dog is stolen or adopted from a shelter then sold — predominantly online — just to make some money. This woman who had taken Moose looked to gain $650 from a dog she had stolen.
It seems like one of the worst ways to make money. You’re ripping these animals away from their homes where they’re comfortable,” added Davis. “I can only imagine what he’s feeling right now, he’s a really anxious dog.”
Davis says they filed a police report and even attempted to contact the person who took Moose.
The Salt Lake City Police Department tells ABC4 News that they had received a police report about Moose and had assigned an officer to the case Wednesday morning. They said they had never heard about the dog flipping trend happening in Utah. But, they say this is still an ongoing investigation.
According to the American Kennel Club The number of stolen dogs have increased significantly over the years. In 2008 there were 71 reported cases of dog thefts nationwide. In 2014 it was 631, and in 2015 it was 831 cases of dogs being reported stolen.
Most Commonly Stolen Dogs:
- Pit bull/Pitbull mixes
- Shih Tzu
- German Shepherd
How To Protect Your Dog:
- Keep dogs on a leash.
- Keep them close to you when out in public or in your own backyard.
- Never leave your dog unattended in public or even in your own backyard.
- Have your dog micro-chipped and the information on the chip up-to-date.
- And never tell a stranger that approaches you just how much you paid for your pet.
The Salt Lake City Police Department says this case has become more difficult because of the events that unfolded prior to the police being contacted. They ask anyone who has had their property stolen should first contact police and file a police report. Allow officers to do their work and thoroughly investigate the theft.
Have you seen Moose?
At the time that Moose went missing he was wearing a blue coat and had recently been groomed. Davis says Moose has also had his teeth recently cleaned. Davis says Moose also has a ‘fatty lump’ on his stomach and it is almost an inch long. She says it’s a very noticeable feature on Moose. She adds that Moose looks exactly like his sister in the pictures posted online and on the posters.
Meanwhile, the Davis family will continue to look for their pet and are asking people to remain vigilant if they see a Yorkie around their neighborhoods or in the streets.
I definitely would appreciate anybody whose seen someone selling a Yorkie or has bought a Yorkie to let us know,” said Davis.
If you have any information on his whereabouts you can contact the Salt Lake City Police Department at (801) 799-3000. You can also text a tip on your phone, just send a text to ‘CRIMES’ (274637), or you can provide a tip online here. You can also contact his owner at (801) 450-9478. There is a $250 reward for any information for anyone that can return him to his family.