I've had this discussion with a few people now and some find it hard to believe that neighbors could do such a thing as in stealing someone else's believed pet, but there are people out there who do. So I thought I'd talk a little about it.
This happened quite a few years back - eleven in fact but I still feel angry at times when I'm reminded of the event.
It happened when I was sixteen and on my way to school. My younger brother was the last one to leave the house while my youngest bother and dad were waiting in the car; the last person to leave had the responsibility to make sure the front door is shut properly. Well my brother didn't quite do this but we didn't realise that.
I used to live in a town in Bexley, Kent, UK. Our house was directly in front of a community school and I mean directly in front. The only thing in-between our house and the school was a very tight alley that barely fit a car.
Anyway, I only had my puppy who I named Sunny for two weeks when he was stolen. After my dad dropped us off at school he came back to find our front door wide open and Sunny missing. He spoke to my next-door neighbor who saw everything and explained what happened. When I got back home dad immediately told me what had happened, so I went to our neighbor and asked her what happened myself. She told me that just after we left, she saw Sunny run out after our car but we had already gone. She then saw two mothers who just dropped off their children to the school behind us, put him in their car.
After I heard this, I wasn't that worried because I thought it's two mothers, we should get our dog back easily once we put up posters.
Well, I was very wrong. I put up posters all over the streets, outside the school, neighboring streets, in the park, woods, and my dad put a missing add out in newspapers.
After a week, it was clear the two women who took Sunny, were not going to return him. So I replaced all the "missing" signs with "stolen" ones and my dad put a new add in the papers saying that two mothers were seen taking Sunny outside the school and if anyone should see a dog of Sunny description, to please call us. We offered a reward so got a few calls from people who saw similar looking dogs, sadly it was never Sunny. One woman laughed, she said; "I wondered why a bunch of kids followed me home."
Another week went by without a word. I would walk to the park and woods late at night and early in the morning, because some people I asked on the streets suggested I keep an eye out in case the people who took him, took him for a walk really late or early so they wouldn't be spotted.
We were just about to give up when a man rang. He said he found a dog in the woods near him all cut up, bruised, covered in mud and blood, hungry and wet. Clearly he was wondering the woods for a couple of days to fend for himself. The man was lovely enough to take him to the vet to have him looked over, fed him and took care of him. When we went to pick him up, we had to drive nearly an hour, and because it was so far away I doubted it was Sunny.
To my delight, when we arrived, the man opened the door and I recognized that it was Sunny! He immediately saw us so dashed to us barking and crying. When Sunny was a pup, he was completely white with a gold strip going from his nose to his tail, the man said this description was what made him think that he was ours.
The women who stole him drove far out to dump him in woods because they didn't want to get caught. If they didn't want to get caught I would have preferred they tied him up outside our house late at night so they weren't seen or they could have knocked on the door and lied, saying they found him wondering the woods. They didn't have to let him starve for days to fend for himself and become injured over it.
Anyway, I'm happy to say that we got him back and this is a picture of Sunny a couple of years later: :-D
To anyone who finds a pet; if they have loving owners who miss them, be a decent human and return them, don't steal them. They're not just pets, they're family members.