A Toronto woman is offering a $300 reward for the safe return of her dog, Ottis, a Boxer mix that she says was stolen while she ran errands at a shopping centre on Friday night.

The incident, which was captured on a surveillance camera, shows a man and a woman untying the dog from the bike rack outside the Gerrard Square and leaving with it in a red vehicle.

Jamie Aitchison, the dog’s owner, told CTV Toronto that she “literally couldn’t breathe” when she watched the footage. Police now have the surveillance video.

Witnesses said the pair who took Ottis, also known as Bubba, claimed that the dog had been abandoned for hours and that they were trying to help it.

“I believed them,” said Kim Luu, a witness. “I thought, ‘Oh, it’s an abandoned dog.’ I was so sorry for the dog and I was happy they said they were going to take the dog and someone was going to adopt it.”

Aitchison told CTV Toronto that she has been with Ottis since he was eight weeks old and that the dog has helped her cope with the symptoms of her post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I know they hear him whining at night and you know he’s whining because he wants to come home,” she said.

Ottis is microchipped and has severe food allergies.

Aitchison told police that she was unaware of a bylaw against tying dogs to bike racks or poles and is asking that he be left at an animal shelter or a pet shop.