SILVERHILL, Ala. (WALA) – UPDATE 12/18/2023: The owner, Olivia Gardner, tells FOX10 News the reward to bring home “Rags” is up to $5,000. She said Silverhill Police are investigating multiple leads.
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ORIGINAL STORY 12/13/2023: A distraught Silverhill woman is urgently searching for her special needs dog after it was stolen from her living room.
Olivia Gardner was not home when her deaf sheepdog “Rags” was yanked from behind the front door.
At first, she thought it had gotten out of the fence, but then doorbell surveillance caught a brazen thief in the night.
Now, she believes someone has been watching her.
“There was what I assume to be a man coming up masked to my door and letting himself right in, and grabbing that specific dog,” said Gardner. “He walked out briskly, all within an eight second time-frame, so I’ve got to believe we were being watched.”
Surveillance showed Rags squirming in the burglar’s grasp and frantically looking back.
Gardner was panicked seeing the jarring video, and she called the police.
“I didn’t sleep,” she said. “The little bit of rest I did get was in front of our door. I had my clothing over my fence line. I had the gate open in case he would come back.”
Dressed with an air tag, Gardner went to check Rags’s last location Friday night, which pinged near Highway 104 and 181. There, they found his collar with the air tag removed but no Rags.
With Rags being special needs and fixed, Gardner doesn’t know why someone would steal him.
“He’s not worth money, but he’s priceless to me and my family,” she said. “Otherwise, I don’t see a financial gain in taking him.”
The search is on to find the suspect with a tattoo on his left wrist.
If anyone knows anything, Gardner urges people to call Silverhill Police.
“He’s not one who is going to run away, and I know he’s scared,” she said. “He’s looking for us just as much as we are looking for him, and I’m going to bring him home. He’s more than an animal to me, he’s my kid.”
There is a GoFundMe to raise money for a cash reward. To donate, click here.
Silverhill Police said they are working to identify the suspect’s vehicle.
If he is caught, police said he would face at least a burglary charge.
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