Jun 12, 2018, 11:07 AM ET

Dognapping spree targeting purebred Yorkies has Connecticut town's pet owners on edge

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Eleven female Yorkshire terriers have been stolen in one Connecticut town, with officials suspecting that an illegal breeder is the culprit.

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The pups were taken from homes in Bridgeport, Connecticut, over the past two weeks, local authorities told ABC New York station WABC.

Bridgeport officials believe an illegal dog breeder is stalking Yorkshire terrier owners and stealing females that could reproduce.

"They are all females, and there's not one male that's been taken. So obviously, this is a breeder," Bridgeport City Councilwoman Jeanette Herron told WABC. "Someone is watching people with Yorkies."

PHOTO: Officials in Bridgeport, Conn., believe an illegal breeder is stalking the owners of purebred Yorkshire terriers after 11 pups were stolen in the past two weeks.WABC
Officials in Bridgeport, Conn., believe an illegal breeder is stalking the owners of purebred Yorkshire terriers after 11 pups were stolen in the past two weeks.

Police investigators are "pounding the pavement" in the case, going door-to-door to speak to residents and gathering surveillance footage in an effort to find a suspect, Bridgeport Police Chief A.J. Perez told WABC.

Perez also ordered all of the city's animal control officers to check with local veterinarians and pet stores for any possible leads, he said.

"Somebody's got to know something," he said.

PHOTO: Officials in Bridgeport, Conn., believe an illegal breeder is stalking the owners of purebred Yorkshire terriers after 11 pups were stolen in the past two weeks.WABC
Officials in Bridgeport, Conn., believe an illegal breeder is stalking the owners of purebred Yorkshire terriers after 11 pups were stolen in the past two weeks.

PHOTO: Officials in Bridgeport, Conn., believe an illegal breeder is stalking the owners of purebred Yorkshire terriers after 11 pups were stolen in the past two weeks.WABC
Officials in Bridgeport, Conn., believe an illegal breeder is stalking the owners of purebred Yorkshire terriers after 11 pups were stolen in the past two weeks.

One victim is Daniella Parreiras, 33, whose 2-year-old teacup Yorkie named Daisy went missing on Thursday.

Parreiras said she feels terrible that it took her an hour to notice the dog was missing.

"I'm just a mess, I'm a big mess," the heartbroken dog owner said. "I'm trying to be strong, but I'm really just a big mess."

City officials said the animals can be returned with no questions asked, WABC reported. Authorities have not yet identified any suspects.

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  • Indy

    Don't think I'd be a free man for all that long if someone ever touched my pup. Am so sorry that all of these poor people are being put through so much pain and suffering, one's bond with their pup becomes quite similar to that of a parent and child. Law Enforcement should be able to resolve this rapidly, since there were that many pups stolen in such a short period of time in such a relatively small geographical area, that really should help in making it a fair bit easier to accomplish imo.

  • Southern CT

    Bridgeport. Wow, that is surprising.

  • Renate

    There are enough dogs out there. If they would spay and neuter their pets, there may not be such a problem.

  • Lilium Inter Spinas

    It's hard to muster a lot of sympathy for people who prop up the "purebreed" market. Their demand for fad breeds (like "teacup Yorkie") fuels puppy mills and thieving "breeders" who want to cash in. So long as there are suckers willing to pay $1500 for their "dream puppy," there are going to be monsters like this dognapper.

  • norview

    With the problem of theft, not to mention all the suffering effects of inbreeding, maybe a purebred isn't the best pet to own.

  • Don'tBotherMe

    Purebred dogs are generally chipped. I should think breeding would require several vet visits. It will be just a matter of time before a vet finds one or more of these stolen dogs.
    It would also be interesting if there was a common denominator among the owners like where the dogs were purchased or whether they all share the same vet or groomer.

  • Tracy

    The person doing this is immoral and heartless, they are also showing they don't grasp the bond a dog has to it's pack.

  • Lee Thompson

    One can't take one's eyes off a pet, ever. No different than caring for young children.
    I hope whoever is doing this is caught. ASAP!

  • BF1964

    I had a Yorkie for 14 years, and they are wonderful little dogs. I hope they catch whoever is doing this. I don't want to think about what the dognapper would do with the dogs if they find out they've been fixed, probably just kill them :(

  • rightened

    It's not just illegal breeders that'll take dogs. Those with fighting dogs will grab anything they can, often smaller dogs, pull out all their teeth, then use them as "bait dots." It's disgusting what some people do.

  • rgcook2003

    Omg! I don't know what I would do if someone took one of my furbabies!