A Saanich family’s newly adopted husky was stolen last week, allegedly by the previous owner who had the dog removed from her care.
Saanich police say a family living in the 700-block of Haliburton Rd. noticed their dog – acquired from the Victoria SPCA a week earlier – was missing just before noon on April 23.
The family told police they saw a suspicious woman near their home earlier that morning.
“Our investigators were able to determine that the suspicious female that had been observed in the area shortly prior to this incident appeared to be the previous owner,” said Sgt. Steve Eassie.
Police say the woman went to a nearby pet store and purchased a new leash, collar and dog tag, then called a taxi and headed to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal.
An employee at the pet store helped police in identifying the woman and the dog, as she matched the description of the suspicious female on Haliburton Road. That description also matched that of the previous owner, a 30-year-old Squamish woman.
Saanich officers liaised with Whistler RCMP and the woman was arrested in Squamish around 6:30 p.m. that same day.
Eassie said the one-year-old dog, George, was seized in Whistler on April 6 following a property offence. He said no attempts were made by the owner to retrieve the dog, so it was turned over to the SPCA. The Saanich family adopted George – and renamed him Timber – in mid-April.
“Our investigation into the break and enter and theft of the dog is continuing. Our investigators are continuing to piece together the information relating to this incident, and one of the key points is we’re trying determine how this previous owner obtained the address of where her dog was placed,” Eassie said.
The B.C. SPCA is conducting an internal review to see if private information on the adoptive family was leaked to the owner.
The Squamish woman faces charges of possession of stolen property, and break and enter.