WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn — The past 24 hours have been pretty “ruff” for Kanika Ojha and her Yorkie-corgi mix Oliver.
While running errands Wednesday afternoon, the surgical nurse made a quick stop at the Plaza Optical Center in Williamsburg.
Like most dog owners, she left the 2-year-old pooch outside leashed to a fence, under some shade with water.
“Couldn’t have been more than 10 minutes I went back out and at that point he was gone,” she told PIX11.
“It was just a horrible moment of running up and down crying, hyperventilating and just knowing that he’d been taken.”
Surveillance cameras outside the optometrist captured what appeared to be a child whose face we are blurring out and his mother walking off with the dog, taking his food and water without skipping a beat.
Ojha called police, knocked on doors and even used screenshots from the video to launch a social media campaign to find Oliver. When that wasn’t enough, she took matters into her own hands.
Details like a book bag and the timing of the dognapping suggested the child was a student enrolled in a school in the area, which led Ojha to nearby John D. Wells Junior High School.
“We figured our best bet was to be in the area and hopefully we could see this kid in the morning and then try to see if this was a mistake,” she explained.
Sure enough by the time the school bell rang at 8 a.m., the young man was spotted and Ojha called police.
When officers with the 90th Precinct arrived to the school, the child was taken out of class and fully cooperated with investigators, confirming that Oliver was indeed at his home.
In less than an hour, with the help of the NYPD, Ojha was reunited with her pup in a happy ending made for the movies.
“The students who found Oliver were concerned for his health and sought to help. Upon learning it was a misunderstanding they immediately returned the dog to its owner," said Doug Cohen, deputy press secretary of the Department of Education.
With the saga now behind her, Ojha tells us she’s considering filing charges against the child’s mother.
She also says she learned a valuable lesson – one that she hopes other dog owners take note of, especially with the summer upon us.
“We love to live in a place where we could just leave our animal out and not have to worry about him not being there or her not being there, but you never want to go through what I did."
Editor's note: This story has been updated with a quote from the Department of Education.