A dog owner is relieved after a family in Minnesota identified a suspect who stole their award-winning dog and found him three days later.
Michelle Baker drove from Iowa to St. Paul Minn on Friday so her boxer, Jasper, could participate in the Land O ‘Lakes Kennel Club dog show, according to WCCO.
Jasper won the Best of Breed award and hours later he was in his kennel in the back of Baker’s van while she had coffee on Saturday morning. That’s when Baker’s van was stolen with Jasper inside.
“He got up, got out, got in my vehicle and I saw it happen,” Baker told CBS News.
Amid the fight against tears and worry, Baker began posting on Facebook to find his beloved dog and created a GoFundMe to deliver a $ 10,000 reward.
Three days later, police released a surveillance photo of the suspect and a local family recognized him. They also knew where he lived and contacted Baker immediately, CBS News reported.
Thanks to their detective skills, Tara Wintz and her family were also able to locate Baker’s van within 10 miles of the hotel where it was stolen. Jasper was alive inside, despite freezing temperatures for 60 hours.
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“I just shouted at him, ‘He’s alive!’ And she lost it, and I lost it, and I’m screaming and she’s crying. And that was so crazy, “Wintz told WCCO.
Later that evening, Jasper and Baker were reunited in Iowa. the Wintz family will receive the $ 10,000 award, Baker told CBS News.
USA TODAY has contacted the South St. Paul Police Department to see if the suspect has been arrested.
“It touches the hearts of a lot of people when we think of animals in pain,” said South St. Paul Police Chief William Messerich. “It was cold and hungry for a few days.
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: email@example.com.