TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It’s a pet owner’s worst nightmare.
First, the heartbreak of having to search for their dog, missing from their home. Then, finding out someone may have stolen their beloved pup from their backyard.
“They’re part of our families, they’re part of our everyday life. We would do anything for our pets and it concerns us, their own safety," said Anileme Sandoval.
Sandoval believes someone broke into her family’s backyard in Midvale Park and stole her six-month-old Siberian Husky, Morita, around noon on Wednesday, June 26.
“We were definitely watched. They knew that the house was alone, they knew at certain hours we take her outside," said Sandoval.
There were no signs of escape, Sandoval said.
“This is a seven foot fence, so there’s no way she could’ve gotten out," said Sandoval. “Our fence is white, so we would have seen paws or scratches of her trying to get over. But, the main thing, her bowl was on the grill. Somebody was there.”
While those don’t appear to be clues to a suspected dog thief, a neighbor’s home surveillance camera caught a man walking with what appears to be Morita around the same time Sandoval was out of the house.
“It’s concerning that he found the exact right moment to take her away from us," said Sandoval.
The Tucson Police Department confirmed the suspected break-in and stolen property was reported Wednesday. Sandoval said she turned in all surveillance video and photos to police.
With a Siberian Husky selling at a high price, Sandoval worries Morita may have already been sold to a new owner.
She said her six-month-old dog does have a microchip. She’s asking anyone who may have recently purchased a dog that looks like Morita to please check its history.
“I know many people will understand me when I say they are more than pets and they matter a lot to some of us. So all I want for her is to come back home, safe," said Sandoval.
The family is offering an $800 reward for the safe return of Morita.
Sandoval is asking anyone with information about where the dog may be to report it to (520) 312-5895.