Harriet and Friday are heading home after a curious night on the lam.
The two dogs were stolen from East Vancouver late Tuesday, when a dog walker’s truck was stolen from an opportunistic thief. On Wednesday morning, the pair were found roaming an Agassiz field, just a few metres from the abandoned truck.
The saga began when Amy Vilis left four dogs unattended in her truck with the keys in the ignition. When she returned, the vehicle and the four dogs — three of which belonged to clients — were gone. Two of the dogs were found shortly after, close to where the truck was stolen. They had reportedly been thrown from the truck by the thief. But Friday and Harriet were in the back, and ended up going on the 100 km road trip with their dognapper.
Finding the first two dogs gave Vilis “a little pang of hope” that the others would be found.
It was a sleepless night for Vilis, as she searched the area for Friday and Harriet. News media in Vancouver covered the story thoroughly throughout the evening, and on Wednesday morning the Agassiz RCMP received a phone call of a suspicious scene. Someone had noticed an abandoned truck and dogs roaming in a field nearby.
The truck fit the description of Vilis’ vehicle, and RCMP quickly swooped in to rescue the dogs. They were whisked off to an Agassiz vet, who checked them over while Vilis and her clients David Sanderson and Emily Bolton drove out to Agassiz for the reunion. They met at the Agassiz RCMP station, and waited anxiously for their missing friends to arrive.
“Lesson learned,” Vilis said, adding that many people feel safe leaving their vehicle unattended for a few minutes at a time. It’s not a mistake she’ll be making again, she said. After a few minutes waiting at the station, Harriet and Friday arrived in the back of a police cruiser.
“They’re pretty antsy,” an officer said, before opening the door and allowing the dogs to return to their owners.
Friday ran to Vilis, and Harriet lunged toward Sanderson and Bolton. The dogs were a bit dirty, and very shaken. But judging by their wagging tails, very happy to be back with familiar people.It didn’t take long for both of them to do what dogs do best. As if nothing had happened, both Harriet and Friday were on their backs enjoying belly rubs, doled out by very thankful owners.
RCMP haven’t found the suspect, and the vehicle was waiting to be processed for fingerprints on Wednesday.
We are really happy the dogs were safely located,” says Corporal Tammy Hollingsworth. “Such a good end to a story that could have had a very different ending.”
The Agassiz RCMP are continuing their investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Agassiz RCMP at 604-796-2211 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).