A heartless thug stole a pit bull left outside a Bushwick bodega, according to the pup’s owner, who has been leading a frantic dog-hunt across the borough since Monday night.
Lily the dog disappeared at around 11 pm after Lauren Paige Richeson tied the three-year-old pooch to a pole while she picked up a few items at a small grocery on Broadway and Kosciuszko Street.
“I put her at the same point I put her at every day,” said the 25-year-old, who moved to Brooklyn earlier this year. “She wasn’t there. Her leash was just sitting there.”
Richeson says she immediately began asking potential witnesses — including the store’s security guard — if they knew what happened to Lily, but nobody offered any clues.
So she flagged down a cop car, and despite what Richeson describes as an officer’s initial reluctance, she says she convinced police to drive her around the neighborhood looking for her grey and white best friend.
After about 90 minutes, Lily was still nowhere to be seen — but Richeson did receive a tip.
“The only lead we got was some people who said they saw her with a Hispanic man with a red shirt, who was pulling her around by her collar,” she said. “But he must have ducked down a side street.”
Later, some other witnesses told her they saw the dog running down the streets by herself.
“She might have pulled out of her collar and gotten away from him,” Richeson said.
After cops wrapped up their canine canvas, Richeson and her boyfriend continued the dragnet by bicycle, riding around until nearly daylight.
Since that night, Richeson has spent nearly every waking hour prowling the borough and making fliers pointing out that even though Lily is pit bull, she is useless as a fighting dog because she has been spayed and has a perpetually sunny disposition.
“Her only value is sentimental and not monetary,” Richeson wrote. “She was already rescued once. Please help bring her back to her kind home and her family.”
Sadly, dog theft isn’t unheard of in the borough — and pet experts say the crime is usually committed by people who think they can sell the pooch or those who don’t want to pay adoption fees.
“Most of the time, they just like the way the dog looks. It’s more of an impulse,” said David Holmberg, of the Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition.
Anyone who has information about Lily’s whereabouts should call Richeson and the rest of the search party at (202) 808–4364, (757) 309–0116, or (917) 515–6647.