Several pet parents who’d left their dogs at a Chicago doggie day care facility yesterday could breathe huge sighs of relief this morning. The minivan transporting their dogs home late yesterday afternoon was carjacked at gunpoint, with seven dogs inside it. This morning the van was finally found, with the dogs still inside it, apparently safe and sound.
Around 4 p.m. yesterday, two armed men stole the unmarked Urban Out Sitters’ minivan as the driver was loading up the dogs, according to the Chicago Sun Times. One of the men pointed a gun at a witness who tried to stop them.
“Fifteen years in business and this is probably the most devastating thing I’ve had to deal with,” Joseph Giannini, owner of the doggie day care, told the Sun Times.
Giannini said that because his facility’s name is not on the minivan, he did not think the carjackers intended to steal the dogs.
As temperatures dropped to below zero overnight, Giannini and worried pet parents drove around Chicago, searching for the minivan.
This morning a woman in the River West neighborhood noticed a dog sitting inside a minivan outside her house for more than an hour. Worried about the dog’s safety, she called the police. Officers arrived and found that the license plates matched those of the stolen minivan.
The case is under investigation by the Chicago Police Department. In the meantime, the dogs have been reunited with their happy pet parents.
Tad Tomita, dog dad of Mochi, a 3-year-old Miniature Schnauzer who was in the minivan, told ABC News that when his wife told him yesterday their dog had been stolen, “I couldn’t comprehend what was going on. It’s so surreal.”
Tomita and his wife picked up Mochi this morning from where the minivan was found.
“She was cold but extremely happy to see us,” he told ABC News.