A mad search is underway for a mystery thief who rescued a woman's lost dog but now won't return it.
Olivia, a 4-pound Yorkie, went missing Oct. 9. Her owner received word last Monday that her precious pet had been found and taken to an animal clinic by a family that scooped her up after seeing her on Interstate 64.
Good news turned to devastation when the mystery woman bolted with the dog before the real owner could be reunited.
This mystery has many twists and turns, but most heartbreaking is just how close Kelsey Walker was to wrapping her arms around Olivia until the animal clinic dropped the ball.
The little diva named Olivia, a.k.a. Livi, named after the lead actor on the TV drama "Scandal," vanished from her Church Hill yard. Kelsey has been on a two-month-long search to find her.
There are amazing stories of how micro-chips helped dogs return to their owner. This is not one of them.
The micro-chip made it easy to identify who rightfully owns Olivia, but the woman who walked into Three Chopt Animal Clinic last Monday with the dog had a change of heart and rushed out with the dog after Olivia had been scanned.
Now no one has a clue on how to find her.
"They should have taken the dog to the back to make sure they protect the dog. They said they never took her from the woman. I was furious. I had calmed down a little bit because I had slept on it and I had cried. I hate to point the blame but there's nothing else more to say but yeah they dropped the ball," said Walker.
The office manager and staff at the clinic are just as heartbroken as Walker.
"What went wrong with the policy with the process? Well we never really had a policy or process other than we would scan it. If they were up in the lobby would scan it. We would scan it here in the parking lot," said Becky Ploechinger, the office manager at Three Chopt Animal Clinic.
They have a policy now. Animals are immediately taken to the back treatment area and scanned and the person bringing the animal in has to fill out an information card so they know who brought the animal in before they leave.
"Once I heard what happened we ran out to the parking lot and she was gone," said Becky Ploechinger. "I'm sorry. I wish we had done better and I hope that she's home for Christmas."
They have a vague description: a Caucasian woman with blonde hair driving a white smart car. Walker has received information that the woman was seen at nearby Petco with Olivia retelling the story of how her husband picked up the dog on the interstate.
"Give the dog back," said Ploechinger. "It's not your dog and you know it. Now is it even legal knowing that the dog belongs to somebody."
"To know she's OK is a relief, and I'm glad she's being take care of ... I just want her to come home," said Walker.
Ploechinger is asking animal clinics in the Tuckahoe, Glen Allen, and Short Pump areas to be on the lookout for this woman.
Olivia's owner hopes whoever has her will take the Yorkie to an animal clinic and give her to the staff, no questions asked.
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