PELHAM BAY, The Bronx — A Bronx family is pleading for the safe return of their dog, Jake. The 4-year-old Lab is seen on surveillance video being led away by two women.
Hector Castro took Jake out for his nightly walk around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. He tied his leash to a bench outside a supermarket just down the street from home. He wasn’t inside the grocery store for more than five minutes when he came outside to find Jake missing.
“After looking and looking, I said the dog is lost, something happened,” Hector said, with a sinking feeling.
Jake is a rescue the family adopted from the North Shore Animal League, chosen by their 9-year-old daughter Katie. The two share a close bond.
“He’s a family dog but that’s Katie’s best friend she picked him out that was her birthday gift. There are times when Katie is not feeling well, she’s down and out, it’s Jake who cheers her up, she loves him,” Luisa said.
Her parents don’t have the heart to tell her what happened to Jake. Surveillance video show two women walking away with Jake. The dog seems hesitant, they appear to lure him with food.
“The guy behind the counter says someone came in about an hour and a half ago, they wanted to buy $3 of turkey and said ‘don’t wrap it up it’s for a dog we just found,” Luisa said.
Katie’s parents have only told her Jake is with a veterinarian in Connecticut. They’re hoping for his return before they have to explain any further.
The family is even offering a $500 reward.
Luisa has this to say to the women who took Jake. — “Do the right thing there is a little girl going to be devastated if she finds out her best friend is not coming home anymore. You can break her heart or you can be her hero and bring her dog back safe.”
The Castros have filed a police report and there is now a criminal investigation. But the family just wants the safe return of the dog. They’re hoping the culprits will bring him to a nearby shelter, or even just tie him back to that bench they took him from.
“Jake is part of our family, he’s been with us four years I know he’s a good dog, anyone would want him but he belongs here. Please bring him back home, no questions asked, no consequences, just bring him back,” Hector said.
If you have any information, the Castros have set up a hotline, 917-525-4509.