Bark back! ‘Stolen’ dog safe at home in Bushwick

Dog gone shame: Pet owner says thief stole pooch outside Bushwick bodega
Courtesy of Lauren Paige Richeson

Call off the dogs!

Lily, a three-year-old pooch believed to have been stolen from outside a Bushwick bodega earlier this week, is back at home after a three-day, borough-wide dragnet and a ton of publicity, starting with an article on BrooklynPaper.com.

An unidentified man dropped off the grey and white pit bull at the Brooklyn Animal Care Center in East New York on Thursday afternoon, according to Lily’s owner Lauren Paige Richeson, who had spent nearly every waking hour searching for the missing pup after it disappeared late Monday night.

The canine caper began after Richeson tied her dog to a pole while she picked up a few items at a convenience store at the corner of Broadway and Kosciuszko Street.

When she exited the store, the dog was nowhere to be seen and witnesses say they saw a man in a red shirt dragging Lily around the neighborhood by her collar.

Richeson said she was elated to be reunited with her dog, which she adopted three years ago from a pit bull rescue organization in Virginia.

“Part of me had accepted that I was never going to see my dog again,” said Richeson, who spent the past days frantically biking around Brooklyn and hanging up fliers. “It’s a crazy city and the chances of getting a pit bull back in Bushwick are slim to none.”

For her part, Lily seemed nonplussed by her ordeal.

“She had no idea what went on,” said Richeson. “She was like, ‘Okay, time to go home,’ and came home and got in her bed.”

Administrators at the shelter told Richeson that the name of the person who dropped the dog off is confidential, she said. Richeson is not sure how Lily got all the way out to East New York, but she’s convinced she didn’t get there on her own.

“It’s about five miles away and the terrain is impossible,” said Richeson,

She said she is going to continue to press police to find the felon who pilfered her pooch and is hoping officers will be able to identify the thief from video surveillance.

But, right now, her first priority is buying ice cream for all the neighborhood kids who helped her look for Lily.

“I can’t believe the way people rallied together,” said Richeson. “I thought it was going to be just me and my roommate searching, but people really cared. It put my faith back in humanity.”

Friendly pup: Lily’s owner said she’s overly friendly and would make a lousy fight dog
Courtesy of Lauren Paige Richeson