Last Tuesday, a couple in town for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, Calif., woke up to find their van – along with four of their show dogs – stolen from the parking lot of their motel.
“We had [the dogs] in the van because they have heavy coats. It’s more comfortable for them to sleep outside where it’s cooler. It’s better for their coats too,” dog owner David Peek explained.
Trace and Didi, two purebred Akitas belonging to Peek and his girlfriend, professional dog handler Kristina Rickard, were in the van, along with a client’s two purebred Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Bunny and Peter.
“I don’t think they were after the dogs. I think they just saw a cargo van and thought there’s high-priced stuff in there,” Peek said.
Peek apparently was right. On Wednesday, the Akitas were found in Compton. The van was found later that day, but the Corgis were missing. By Thursday morning, however, the dogs were found in Victorville and reunited with Peek and Rickard. Due to an ongoing investigation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is not releasing details on how the dogs were recovered.
Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department, said, “The good news is that the dogs are fine. They are in good condition. They have been returned to their rightful owners.”
Whitmore credited the media coverage for helping with the dogs’ recoveries. He stated, “Everyone saw and read the coverage. The people who had the dogs or saw the dogs called us. The victim went out last night and got the dogs. The dogs were in good shape.”
There is even more good news: At the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, Didi took First Place in her class, and also won Best Puppy. Trace also won points counting toward his effort to win the grand championship.
PHOTO: Long Beach Post