You don’t want to mess with a guy’s dog.
That’s the message one man in Springfield, MO wanted to give to the man and woman who stole his 2009 Nissan Pathfinder on Thursday, with his pug, named Dugout, still inside.
The post Doug Clark made on Facebook asking for the return of his dog in exchange for the title to the vehicle went viral over the holiday weekend, with more than 77,000 shares and 36,000 likes as of this writing.
Clark told Pet360 in a telephone interview on Tuesday morning that Dugout was a gift for his 30th birthday and that he’s had the little pug since December 17. Dugout is approximately one year old.
Clark, who lives in Marshfield, MO near Springfield, went into a recycling center to turn in some scrap metal. He left his car unlocked, but running with the AC on for the dog, when the man and woman, who had been in front of him in line, went back out and left with the vehicle.
“I know it's just a car. But man (and woman), that was my dog. You don't mess with a guys (sic) dog,” Clark wrote on his Facebook page on Friday. He posted a picture of himself holding the title to the vehicle. “I also want you to know that you look quite silly trying to get that E brake off in the video surveillance that I got my hands on (and now the police have.)”
Clark continues, “I have an idea. You two just keep the ride. I'll meet you with the title to make your life easier. All you gotta bring is an alive Pug. That's it. Just give me a call.”
Clark is also offering a $2,000 reward to make that meeting happen.
On Sunday, Clark posted an update that the recycling business allegedly has the names of the thieves, as well as an address.
However, detectives from the Springfield Police Department were out until after the holiday and could not follow up.
Clark told Pet360 that he has no new information regarding the whereabouts of his pathfinder or Dugout. The recycling business owners have told him they’ve turned surveillance video over to the police, but they’ve refused requests for the suspects' information, which they obtained when the suspects did business there.
“I’ve gotten probably two dozen calls on pugs and have checked out about half, but none of them were Dugout,” says Clark.
Dugout was not microchipped and had just received a bath, so Clark says he wasn’t even wearing a collar or tags.
We hope that Clark recovers both his vehicle and Dugout, but especially Dugout.
This is a sad reminder to everyone never to leave your pet in your unlocked vehicle, even for a minute, and to always have your pets microchipped, as well as to put a collar on them with tags for identification.
Photo of Dugout from Clark’s Facebook page.