YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Youngstown woman is distraught after someone stole her puppy from her yard Monday afternoon and sold it on Facebook hours later.
Now, she’s doing all she can to get back her three-month-old pit bull Latte, who she just adopted two weeks ago.
“I’m upset,” Ashley Perrine said. “I would like to get my dog back and returned to me in its rightful owner’s hands. So my son can play with her, so I can play with her and so she can be safe where I know she’s being taken care of.”
For Perrine, Monday afternoon started out like any other.
She let her dogs Latte and Jerome out in the fenced yard behind her home. They were only outside for 10 minutes while she did the laundry.
“My boyfriend came downstairs to let them in, and he comes in and says that Latte is gone,” Perrine said. “What do you mean she’s gone?”
Perrine spent hours searching for Latte in her neighborhood. When she came up short, she posted to the Youngstown Lost and Found Dogs Facebook page.
The comments started pouring in — including a screenshot of another post. It read: “Anyone want a pit bull puppy?”
Perrine instantly recognized Latte in the picture. She had on the collar they bought her a week ago.
“I let out this big gasp of air,” she said. “I was just so shocked that somebody actually knew where my dog was and I had hopes that I was getting her back, like, that instant. Like, that girl was going to help me get my dog back.”
That woman stopped responding to Perrine’s questions after telling her that Latte had been sold. That’s when she called the police and Animal Rescue groups for help.
Animal Advocate Jason Cooke says he hears of stories like this all too often.
“It’s well known that people are always watching properties — looking for people’s habits, having their eyes on dogs,” Cooke said. “Especially dogs that aren’t altered.”
Cook said he’s never seen a case of “dognapping” advance so quickly.
“Matter of hours that this dog was removed from her property, put on social media and subsequently sold,” he said.
Perrine’s not giving up hope. She’s asking anyone with information to speak out.
Youngstown Police are investigating the case. A substantial cash reward is being offered for Latte’s safe return.
Perrine is asking anyone who has tips to call the police at 330-742-8900.