Puppy Stolen from Owner's Backyard

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by Morgan Fogarty
Bio | Email | Follow: @morganfogarty by Photographer Billy Carrier

CHARLOTTE, N.C.- Five-month-old Riley is a typical puppy: goofy, friendly, curious.  "He probably made it easy on them and came right up to him," says Ray Drury.  He and his wife left Riley and their other dog Diva in the backyard last Wednesday morning.  When Ray came home from work at lunchtime, Riley was gone. 

"We love him, we miss him, he was part of our family," says Traci Drury.  She was even more heartbroken when she saw surveillance video from a neighbor's house.  Two people can clearly been seen approaching the Drury's backyard.  And then, as they're seen walking away from the Drury house, they walk right past the camera awkwardly holding the 25 pound dog. 

"The thought of somebody stealing another person's puppy or dog, I mean it's ridiculous," says Traci.

The people in the video look to be teens, judging from their backpacks.  The Drury's think they walked out of the neighborhood.  They were probably drawn to Riley because he's a pit bull mix, a breed that is often viewed as a status symbol.

Traci and Ray have hung up "stolen" signs all over the area.  They are offering a $100 reward for information that helps bring Riley home.  Traci says, "It's heartbreaking.  He's part of the family."

The Drury's have lived in their quiet neighborhood for seven years.  They will no longer leave their dogs unattended and, "We'll probably get video cameras and I may look at raising the fence," says Ray.

Riley is neutered and microchipped.  The Drury's adopted him from the Humane Society of Charlotte two months ago.  They've filed a police report.  If you know anything that may help them find their stolen dog, call Traci and Ray at 704-619-1095.

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