'These dogs are our life': Search for missing Kelowna dog continues - InfoNews

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'These dogs are our life': Search for missing Kelowna dog continues

Atlas was taken from his home in Kelowna on March 9.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Taylor Galt
March 12, 2019 - 6:30 PM

KELOWNA - A high-profile dognapping has torn a massive hole in a local family, one they're sure can be fixed when Atlas gets back home.

The 18-month-old golden retriever has been missing since March 9 when he was stolen from his backyard by an unidentified woman wearing a white toque. She lured the dog into her white SUV or sports utility vehicle and drove away. The theft has blown up on social media as Taylor Galt, Atlas' owner, has offered a $5,000 reward for anyone who returns his furry friend back to him, no questions asked.

Kelsey Galt, Taylor's sister, said she was out having dinner with her boyfriend's family when she heard about the theft. She said Atlas and her dog were playing in the backyard of their house on Taylor Crescent on the evening of March 9. Her father was in the house. Kelsey said Taylor and her father have spent a lot of time training Atlas.

"My dad has a very good bond with Atlas," she said.

The video released to the public shows the woman suspect open the gate of the fence, pet Atlas, and lure him out of the yard. She left Kelsey's dog in the yard, which raised questions. If the dognapper was looking to steal dogs for monetary gain, why didn't she take both pets?

"It's not a regular dognapping situation," Kelsey said.

Kelsey said her father called for Atlas, but by that point the woman had loaded the dog into her vehicle and sped off down Pandosy Street. Her father immediately called the Kelowna RCMP, who have been looking into the case.

Kelsey described the situation immediately after Atlas' disappearance as a confusing one. Taylor was working in northern B.C. at the time (he returned home on March 11) and the family was looking for answers. They turned to social media for help.

"I wasn't sure what was happening," Kelsey said. "We started posting [online] nonstop."

Kelsey said the exposure of Atlas' disappearance on social media has been a mixed blessing. They're grateful for people spreading the word about the case, but they've also been contacted by people spreading misinformation or lying about Atlas' whereabouts.

"We do get fake phone calls, which aren't helping," she said.

Kelsey said the family oftens feels frustrated and helpless over the situation. She said her brother is offering such a large reward because Atlas is the centre of his life. He's hoping whoever took his dog might be tempted to return him for money.

"These dogs are our life, they're our kids," Kelsey said.

Kelsey said the police are following a few leads, although they can't disclose them at this time. She said she's received reports of people spotting Atlas in Vernon. She asks everyone to keep their eyes peeled for any online postings trying to sell Atlas.

"Don't confront the seller," she said, warning that they might try to slip away.

Anyone with information on Atlas' location is asked to call Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300 and quote file number 2019-12609. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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