Another Stolen French Bulldog Comes Home!

There have been a rash of stories lately about stolen French Bulldogs. With increased popularity for our breed has come increased awareness of just how much they are worth. Now, thieves don’t just take your television – they take your Frenchie, too.

In Austin, sisters Leah and Cayah Haney had been searching for their French Bulldog, Banner, since he was stolen on November 22cnd. According to Austin police, the thieves took “laptop computers, flat screen televisions and Banner.”

On December 2cnd, an east Austin woman called to say that she’d found Banner roaming around Austin’s East Riverside area.

More about Banner’s theft and return here.

In Edmonton, Princess the Bulldog puppy was stolen in much the same way as Banner.

Thieves broke into the apartment of Damien Boisvert and his girlfriend on November 12th, and along with electronics and other valuables, they also stole Princess. For twelve days there was no word of her whereabouts, until the owner of a local Lacrosse team volunteered to put up a $10,000 reward for her return.

On November 24th, someone called the tip hotline that team owner Bruce Urban had set up, and announced that they’d found Princess wandering loose in a park. They were instructed to bring Princess to the local shelter, where she was identified as the missing puppy.

More about Princess’ return here, along with video.

Having a dog stolen is every pet owner’s ultimate nightmare, as I know firsthand.

Thames Valley Police has a good list of tips to help prevent dog theft, and to help in getting your lost or stolen dog back home as quickly as possible.

How to prevent dog theft

* Make sure that your dog wears a collar and identification (ID) tag when in a public place. Include your surname, telephone number, address and full postcode – if there’s room put ‘microchipped’ on the tag if your dog has a chip.
* Microchip your dog so that it is permanently identifiable should the collar and ID tag be removed.
* Do not leave your dog tied up outside a shop or unattended in a car.
* Keep all documentation relating to your dog in a safe place, and include clear photos of front and side profiles of your dog. Also make a note of any unusual markings.
* Make sure that your dog does not go out of your sight on walks. Vary your walk times and routes.
* Be cautious when you invite people into your home to view dogs or puppies for sale. Restrict the number of visitors and their access, and always have someone with you.
* Make sure that your dog is neutered as this will reduce the chances of theft for breeding.
* Make sure that your fencing is adequate and check it regularly for wear and tear. Keep your dog in view when it goes out into the garden.

Potential Puppy Buyer Murders Rat Terrier Breeder

Lisa Montgomery sentenced to death for murder of dog breeder Bobbi Jo Stinnett, and kidnapping of Stinnett's unborn child.

Lisa Montgomery sentenced to death for murder of dog breeder Bobbi Jo Stinnett, and kidnapping of Stinnett's unborn child.

Thanks to Jen and Yes Biscuit for reminding me of the worst ‘potential puppy buyer’ scenario of all time – the murder of Bobbi Jo Stinnett, a Missouri Rat Terrier breeder, and the theft of her unborn child.

The crime took place on Decemeber 16, 2004.  According to CNN,

“Montgomery met Stinnett through an online chat room and — using a fictitious name — expressed interest in a rat-terrier dog, a type she bred and sold. Montgomery allegedly obtained directions to Stinnett’s home and visited her there Thursday. Hours later, officials have said, Stinnett’s mother found her body.

The baby, who has since been named Victoria Jo, was located in Montgomery’s custody the following day, police said. She was taken to Stormont-Vail Regional Health Care Center in Topeka, Kansas, and was released Monday night after being united with her father, Zeb Stinnett.”

Lisa Montgomery had a long history of feigned pregnancies, and was a ‘hanger on’ in several rat terrier chat rooms. Bobbi Jo Stinnet had apparently even once defended Montgomery when she was “accused of misrepresenting the pedigrees of her dogs” – source:

Montgomery used the same rat terrier chatroom where she had met Stinnett to arrange the meeting that would lead to Stinnett’s death.


On Wednesday, December 16, 2004, Lisa, posing as “Darlene Fisher” contacted Bobbie Jo in an Internet chat room under the pretext of wanting to buy a rat terrier. Bobbie Jo gave her directions to her house and they agreed to meet the next day.

Like most of us have done in the past – or continue to do now – Stinnett didn’t check ‘Darlene Fisher’s’ credentials or other information before giving her directions to her home. The next day, Stinnett’s mother discovered her daughter’s body dead in pool of blood, with fistfulls of blond hair and the fetus removed from her body.

MSNBC.Com reports that –

“Prosecutors said Montgomery used a rope to choke Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant. But Stinnett was conscious and trying to defend herself as Montgomery used a kitchen knife to cut the baby girl from the womb, prosecutors said.

Montgomery was arrested the day after the killing after spending the morning showing off the infant as her own in her hometown of Melvern, Kan.”

The Grand Jury indictment against Lisa Montgomery read:

On or about December 16, 2004, at Skidmore, in Nodaway County, in the Western District of Missouri and elsewhere, LISA M. MONTGOMERY, the defendant, a/k/a Darlene Fischer, a/k/a Fischer4kids, willfully and unlawfully kidnapped, abducted, carried away, and held Victoria Jo Stinnett, and willfully transported Victoria Jo Stinnett in interstate commerce from Skidmore, Missouri, across the state line to Melvern, Kansas, the actions of the defendant resulting in the death of Bobbie Jo Stinnett.

On Oct. 22, 2007, a jury found Lisa Montgomery guilty, and on Friday, April 4, 2008, U.S. District Judge Gary Fenner gave Lisa Montgomery the death sentence, making her the third woman on federal death row.

Montgomery remains on death row to this day, and has appealed her conviction.

Stolen Dogs and Scared Breeders

Another Ontario breeder has had dogs stolen by vistors who pretended to be potential puppy buyers. This isn’t the first time this has happened – years back, a Bulldog breeder in California lost almost every dog in their house to people who had come to ‘meet the dogs’ a few days before, and the infamous home invading Yorkie thieves gained access to the house by posing as potential purchasers. An American Eskimo breeder in Northern Ontario had a litter of puppies stolen from right out of her kitchen, and we ourselves had a puppy stolen from inside of our house – while I was at home alone with my children.

This rise in dogs stolen from right inside our homes has left a lot of breeders feeling paranoid – and a lot of puppy buyers feeling confused.

For years, we’ve told potential buyers that visiting the home of the breeder they are considering purchasing a puppy from is a great way to choose a quality breeder – and it is.  Unfortunately,  it’s also less and less common to find breeders willing to let possible buyers drop over for just a ‘meet the dogs’ visit.

Can you blame us? After all, we don’t know you – and we don’t know if your intent is to sincerely meet us and our dogs, or if you have something more nefarious in mind. Are you ‘casing’ us, trying to find out where the dogs live and what access points there might be? Are you checking to see if our doors are secure, and if there’s a gun safe sitting in our family room? As breeders, we just don’t know – and we’re all of us more and more paranoid about the possibility that your innocuous visit can turn into a house emptied of its pets.

As puppy buyers, however, it’s not unusual to want to meet the possible parents of your future puppy, in advance of picking that puppy up. As breeders, it’s also common for us to want to meet you, as well. An initial impression can go a long way to convincing us that you are the right family for one of our precious kids.

What kind of compromise can we all make, to create an atmosphere where both sets of parties get what they need?

Read more