Thursday, February 25, 2021

Oregon pet lovers track down stolen van with 12 dogs inside

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Pet lovers in Oregon tracked down a man who stole a van with a dozen dogs inside — leading to the pooches’ safe return, according to local reports.

The dognapper took off in the van on Tuesday as Sunni Liston, the owner of Portland doggy daycare Coopers Dogpatch, was unloading a client’s pup.

“It took a split second to realize what had happened, and I screamed,” Liston told TV station KOIN.

“I can up the side of the van, the driver’s side [and] I was pounding the wall of the van and he ran over my foot,” she said.

Liston’s purse and phone were inside the vehicle — as were 12 dogs, including her own Corgi-heeler mix, Howard.

“I was screaming ‘call 911, that van’s stolen, stop them,’” Liston recalled.

But Liston’s network of pet lovers were ready to help.

“There were literally hundreds of people — and that’s not an exaggeration — ready to start combing the streets for that van,” she said.

Liston’s quick-thinking employees used an app to track down her phone, and the stolen van with it.

The vehicle was located in a parking lot, near where a friend of Liston’s staffers lived.

“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,’” Liston said.

Sunni Liston sits in her doggy day care van that was stolen in Portland, Oregon, with 12 dogs inside.KGW.com

The pal found the van and used her own car to block it from leaving the parking lot.

Police located all the dogs inside the van, unharmed, but the thief made off with cash and credit cards Liston had in her purse.

“The policeman called me and I could hear the dogs in the background,” Liston recalled.

“I screamed, I was screaming, ‘you’ve got them, you’ve got them!’ — it wasn’t like anything you could describe.”

In all, the harrowing incident lasted about 40 minutes.

Cops still hope to catch the crook, who a witness described as a man with “straggly hair” and a blue coat and red backpack, Liston said.

“Apparently dog napping in Oregon is just about as serious as people napping; it’s a very serious crime,” she said.

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