In a bizarre series of events, an Ontario family whose dog went missing recently received a note accusing them of neglect that read: “I have your dog, so stop looking for him.”
And now police are investigating the theft that has shaken the dog owners.
Veterinary technician Jordin Legate and her family have been worried after noticing her brother-in-law’s Labrador retriever Buckaroo had gone missing late Thursday night from their cottage near Cloyne, Ont.
Her vacationing brother-in-law has been recently spending every day there, relaxing and playing with his one-year-old dog.
“(Buckaroo) loves to swim and dive in the water … but because he likes chasing four-wheelers, he’s always tied up when we’re not outside,” Legate explained to CTVNews.ca in a phone interview, stressing that Buckaroo and their two other dogs are never left alone for too long and not without water.
But last Wednesday, they noticed Buckaroo wasn’t tied up. “It was kind of strange but we thought, maybe he just broke (the tie) chasing a four-wheeler but he always comes back,” Legate said.
They waited for some time but, as nightfall came, they eventually drove around trying to look for him. Since then, they’ve spent the better part of last week knocking on their neighbours’ doors.
But on Monday, they found a typed-out note on their driveway that read, “I have your dog, so stop looking for him. He deserves a better life than you gave him.”
Legate said it was ”devastating and scary” to find the note. She said her family feels threatened and is now worried to have any pets at the cottage at all.
The note, which Legate posted on Facebook, went on to criticize the dog’s skinny appearance and accused the family of neglect, with the thief claiming the dog was saved from a “miserable life.”
But Legate said the thief doesn’t understand the full story.
She explained Buckaroo appeared underweight with missing patches of hair because of a recently-discovered food allergy. She said the dog has been slowly regaining his weight with new food and medication.
“If (the thieves) had just come and talked to us they’d realize it’s not that we’re not feeding him,” Legate said.
An Ontario Provincial Police spokesperson confirmed officers from the Lennox and Addington detachment were investigating the case.
Although Legate is unsure who stole Buckaroo, she said her family has not felt very welcome in the area.
Several weeks after Legate’s family bought the cottage in May, she said some neighbours made it clear they were bothered that the family regularly wakeboard on the lake.
Legate said that the theft has shaken her belief that “the cottage is supposed to be a relaxing place.”
“We don’t wish any harm to the people that took him. We realize they were concerned for him. We just want him back,” Legate privately wrote to CTVNews.ca on Facebook. “He comes from a loving family that cares for him. And we miss him so much.”