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Vancouver woman reunited with stolen dog

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A Vancouver woman has her Chihuahua back after it was reportedly stolen early last week.

Heather McBride says she was forced to pay hundreds of dollars to be reunited with her dog, Lucia.

McBride says she tied Lucia to a post outside Urban Fare in the Olympic Village last Tuesday while she quickly ran inside to grab a few things.

She says when she returned, the dog had been taken off of her leash.

McBride says she started putting up posters so people would know to look for Lucia.

She says at around 4 p.m. yesterday, she got a call from a man saying he saw another man trying to sell the dog on Hastings St. and that he paid $300 to get it back. “He comes to meet me and he’s got her inside of his jacket. He wouldn’t give me her until he had money, so I gave him $500.”

McBride says Lucia wasn’t harmed. “Thank goodness she’s in good health. She’s hungry and thirsty, she’s exhausted, she slept all night and she still looks exhausted.”

This is the second reported dognapping in Vancouver over the past week.

A French bulldog was taken from a tattoo shop on Thursday.

The BC SPCA says it’s too early to say if this is a trend.

Marcie Moriarty with the SPCA says they get reports every year about the odd theft of a pet.

She says sometimes the motivation is extortion, other times it may be a valuable breed. “Is there a rash of dog thefts out there? Not that I am aware of, but everybody has to be conscious of where they leave their pets.”