Pet lovers and vigilant citizens in Oregon banded together to reunite pets with their families by tracking down a man who stole a van full of dogs. The stolen van belonged to a dog daycare in Portland known as Coopers Dogpatch. The van was hijacked when it stopped to unload a client’s puppy after the shift.
Sunni Liston, who owns the daycare, was outside the van when the ‘dognapper’ came along. According to New York Post,Liston spoke to a local TV station and said “It took a split second to realize what had happened, and I screamed.”
She continued, “I came up the side of the van, the driver’s side. I was pounding the wall of the van and he ran over my foot.” Inside the vehicle where 11 dogs from clients and Liston’s own pet, Howard, a Corgi-heeler mix. Unfortunately, her phone and purse were also gone with the van. She screamed for a while to anyone who would hear to “Call 911.”
Then her pet lover’s network came to the rescue. Some hundreds of people starting searching various streets to spot the stolen van. Meanwhile, her employees tracked her phone using an app and that helped them track the location of the van as well. The location was a parking lot, near a friend of Liston’s employee.
“The amazing girls who work for me called a friend that lives [there] and said ‘get in your car, you’ve got to find this van,” she told the channel. The friend then used her own car to block the exit of the parking, trapping the van inside the spot. Though Liston’s purse, cash, and credit cards were gone, police found all 12 dogs inside the vehicle, safe and unharmed.
The whole ordeal lasted for about 40 minutes, which would have been much longer if not for the network of these pet lovers.According to BBC, all her clients showed up with flowers and wine and booked future appointments as well. She was glad no one was pointing fingers at her.
NY Post revealed the criminal can still be caught by the police as a witness has given them a description of the van-thief.