Dog Theft Ring May Be Targeting Animals in Venice: Residents

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Three dogs in Venice were reportedly stolen from their owners recently, prompting some residents to speculate that a dog theft ring may be operating in the neighborhood.

“A lot of people who work in rescues and shelters have communicated with me about this and told me that … they’ve heard so many stories,” said Brooke Nasser. “Just in the past week,” three dogs have been taken from the area, she said.

Nasser’s chihuahua, Mr. John Frum, was apparently snatched from an enclosed front yard on Monday. She was to be reunited with her missing dog after a viewer saw him in a KTLA report Sunday and called her.

Meanwhile, Beth Shafer is desperately looking for Tegan, her 20-pound corgi, who disappeared on Dec. 30 after Shafer’s husband was involved in a collision at the intersection of Lincoln and Washington boulevards.

“My dog ran from the accident scene, and we hired dog trackers to track her scent,” she said.

According to the trackers, the dog reached the area near Washington Boulevard and Pacific Avenue, where Nasser’s dog had gone missing.

“She’s like my child. We’re a pack of three — my husband and myself and her,” Shafer said. “And we would really like to get her back.”

Shafer is offering a $2,000 reward for Tegan’s safe return — no questions asked. Before Mr. John Frum was found, Nasser had offered a reward in the same amount.

Both dogs are microchipped.

Los Angeles police said that no formal investigation has been launched to look into the reported string of disappearing canines.

“It’s hard for some people who don’t have dogs or pets to understand, but to dog owners, it is like, ‘My child was stolen,'” Nasser said. “It is the exact same feeling. If you have anything that you can’t live without, that’s exactly what it feels like.”