Canine crook steals puppy from the APL

Canine crook steals puppy from the APL
"Lucy" stolen from Cleveland Animal Protective League's adoption floor
"Lucy" stolen from Cleveland Animal Protective League's adoption floor

Mark Hange and his wife, from Medina, recently lost the family cat to old age. So when his son came to them with the idea of adopting Lucy from the Cleveland Animal Protective League they took the puppy in for an afternoon.

"We saw her on Wednesday. You know it's one of those things you see something right away and you either fall in love with it or you don't fall in love with it," said Hange.

The puppy, Lucy, is only 8 weeks old and weighs approximately 8 ½ pounds.

They did fall in love, and put a reserve on Lucy because she had to go back to the APL to be spayed. When Hange and his wife went back to pick her up on Saturday he noticed a man and women playing with Lucy at her cage.

"I looked at them, I knew they were looking at the dog and said, 'Ohh this dog is taken'," explained Hange.

So the soon to be "puppy papa" went back up front to complete the paper work even paid for Lucy, while staff went to get the puppy from her cage. There was a problem, she was gone.

"We're devastated, and angry," according to Ayse Dunlap, Director of the APL. Ayse says this has never happened before. There are security cameras but they weren't working.

At approximately 4:30pm on Saturday, January 12, 2013, a small, black Lab mix puppy was stolen from the Cleveland Animal Protective League's adoption floor.

"We believe that the puppy was stolen while another family was in the process of adopting her," said Sharon Harvey, CEO and President of the Cleveland APL.  "A second person saw her, picked her up, and inquired about her.  She was told by an APL team member that the puppy was in the process of being adopted. Shortly after that, it was discovered that the puppy was gone."

The woman last seen holding the puppy is described as a female in her late thirties or early forties.  She's approximately 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs an estimated 200 pounds.  She has wavy blond hair down to her neck, fair skin, and was wearing black-rimmed glasses.  She was also wearing a heavy, black coat.

"We are devastated and the family that had fallen in love with her is heartbroken that Lucy was stolen just as they were getting ready to welcome her into their family," said Harvey.  "We hope someone knows where this puppy is and will do the right thing and return her to the shelter and the family that's waiting for her."

So where is Lucy, who has her and do they know she has some minor medical issues?

"I would say, whoever has her, well first of all we'd like to have her but if that's not going to happen at least make sure that they take her to a vet, get her checked out make sure she's ok," pleads Hange.

"Somebody know where this puppy is and we hope that they do the right thing and return it to the shelter so that it can go to this family that's waiting for him," asks Ayse.

If you have any information, please call the Cleveland APL at 216-771-4616, ext. 0 or ext. 125.

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