Volunteers looking for stolen puppies

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -- Two puppies were stolen yesterday from a rescue group during its weekly adoption fair outside the Short Pump PetSmart. The group BARK called NBC12 to put out the word.

You'll see posters around the area -- they show the adorable beagle and beagle-pekingese puppies. BARK is hoping someone watching may have seen the dogs since they were taken yesterday, but Henrico police tell us the odds of finding them are slim to none.

These faces would melt anyone's heart: two month old Aimee and six month old Mutt. Yesterday they were looking for a nice place to call home.

"These dogs are just excited to be out and about. They get to walk. They get to play and they really show off when they come here."

Vickie Fahed says Aimee and Mutt attracted two girls looking for pets. She remembers they were around twenty years old and told her they were roommates.

"They seemed nice, nothing that would scare me or red flag. They just seemed like normal people that were interested in puppies."

They were only supposed to fill out applications and get to know Mutt and Aimee on site.

The last time anyone saw the two dogs was here in this grassy area. The two girls were walking and playing with them.  But when volunteers were cleaning up, the two four legged friends were nowhere to be found.

"We were panicked. We were in panic mode. Panic and shock."

Henrico's animal protection officer tells me the department doesn't have a lot to go on. The store doesn't have surveillance cameras.  The descriptions could depict almost anyone and they don't have the girls' names or where they were heading. While this has never happened at a BARK event, we're told police see this type of theft frequently. BARK founder, Bob Tillack, still can't believe it.

"It's pretty disappointing because we've always let the people just take the animals and walk around the store and you know we've always been out front here and it's always been an open atmosphere. You don't expect something like that to happen."

You'll find these posters at vets' offices, pet stores and rescue organizations. BARK is hoping someone will recognize the dogs, which are not microchipped yet, if they are brought in for treatment. Volunteers also say they'll be more watchful at future events.

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