HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – There's been a dog-napping in Henrico County. An entire litter of puppies was swiped right from their owner's backyard. Now police are investigating.
The eight puppies are worth about $1,000 each. The owners are handing out fliers to local vets' offices and mail carriers in case anyone sees the Italian Mastiff puppies, which have been missing since thieves broke into their backyard pen almost a week ago.
Deon Kado is not only out about $8,000 but eight members of his family.
"I do want the puppies back," he said. "I also want the perpetrator that orchestrated the whole thing prosecuted to the fullest extent."
The Italian Mastiff puppies were just five weeks old. Some were still nursing and depended on their mom and owners to survive. Kado breeds these dogs as a hobby. He was planning to sell a few of them.
They were last seen in their pen Thursday night when Kado's fiancé fed them. He believes the crooks struck Friday morning.
He knew something was wrong when his neighbor called to tell him the mama dog was loose and pacing outside the privacy fence.
The family filed a police report. Henrico's Animal Protection Unit is investigating, but the county residents are doing some of their own detective work.
"The way that I built all the pens is that if you close it you can't even see that I have dogs back here," he explained. "I know it was somebody that knows me."
That is both frustrating and frightening.
"It's about the puppies but it's just the point that you came on my property and then you violated me," he said.
The puppies have distinct markings because of the male dog used in the breeding. They all have white on their chests and a small white patch on at least one of their paws.
If you have any information that can help, call crime stoppers at 780-1000.