A San Luis Obispo Country golden retriever was returned to her family after a whirlwind adventure involving sheriff’s deputies, a dognapping and a lot of community help.
When Steven Allen left town with his family last week, he never expected his dog to go missing, let alone be stolen.
But on Friday night, after Allen’s father-in-law checked up on Allen’s dog Blossom, she somehow got out of the house.
Allen told The Tribune that Blossom was quickly found by a person who lived across the street, but because the dog didn’t have a collar, the person made a Facebook post about the missing dog and called San Luis Obispo County Animal Services.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Grace Norris told The Tribune that deputies picked up Blossom and secured her in an overnight kennel at the county Animal Services shelter around 5 a.m.
However, when Allen called Animal Services on Saturday after seeing the Facebook post, Blossom was nowhere to be found.
“They said, ‘I don’t know how to tell you but I have all the paperwork for your dog,’ ” Allen said. “’And she’s not here.’ ”
Norris said when Animal Services arrived in the morning, they found someone had broken into the kennel and stolen Blossom, which they confirmed through security camera footage.
“The outdoor kennel where she was secured in had been cut open and she had been taken from there,” Norris said. “Just over two hours from the time she was dropped off.”
Sheriff’s deputies searched the area and talked to people nearby, but they couldn’t initially locate Blossom, Norris said. Things changed when that night, someone called the Sheriff’s Office saying they had spotted Blossom in a location near the shelter.
Norris said deputies responded and were able to find Blossom. They also arrested two people on suspicion of stealing Blossom — Frankie Paul Brandon Lyons, 52, and Teresa Ann Copeland, 57.
Lyons and Copeland were booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of charges of burglary, vandalism and grand theft, according to a SLO County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post. They were still in custody as of Wednesday evening, with bail set at $20,000 for each person.
Both Norris and Allen said they didn’t know why Blossom appears to have been taken, but Allen said Blossom was the only dog in the overnight kennels when the theft happened.
After her rescue, Blossom stayed under the close eye of deputies in the Sheriff’s Office until her family was able to pick her up on Sunday afternoon, Allen said.
Blossom was a “welcome guest” during that time, according to Norris.
“We got some good Blossom time in,” Norris said. “She was very sweet, got to meet all of our dispatchers. … We were happy to have her.”
Allen said he and his family felt “very lucky to have (Blossom) back.” He added that he was “thankful” for the community and the Sheriff’s Office “for putting in the effort.”
“I have two little girls at home and we were very sad,” Allen said. “For us to get her back was just amazing. The community helped out and Blossom had quite the adventure.”