On Friday, July 3, at 4 p.m., the RCMP responded to a report of a theft of a dog that had just occurred in the parking lot of Costco in Kelowna.
A family visiting from Kamloops had left their puppy, an English Setter named Bailey, in the truck bed of their vehicle while they went inside the store. When the family returned to their vehicle they discovered Bailey was gone.
Witnesses at the scene told the family that an unknown man had taken their dog, and provided a detailed description of the male suspect, who the family recognized as being in the area prior. The family called and reported the incident to police, who conducted extensive patrols of the area.
Early the next morning, while on routine patrol, the lead investigator located and questioned a man matching the suspect’s description in the area of Highway 97 and Underhill Street. The Kelowna man, 56, admitted to being at the Kelowna Costco the day before and was subsequently arrested for the alleged theft.
Through further investigation police learned he had observed the puppy in distress, removed the puppy from the back of the vehicle and took the puppy to his residence with the intention of delivering the animal to the BC SPCA.
Police later located Bailey the puppy and returned him to his family.
“It was truly rewarding,” said Cst. Wyatt Wright, “to be able to locate and return Bailey to his family in such a short period of time. Bailey was obviously a beloved part of their family who were all extremely ecstatic to have him return home.”
Cst. Jesse O’Donaghey said, “If you see a dog, who you believe may be in distress inside a vehicle on a hot day, the Kelowna RCMP would like to remind the public to do the following:
- ask nearby stores to page their customers
- call the BC SPCA Animal Cruelty Hotline at 1-855-6BC-SPCA (1-855-622-7722)
- call your local animal control
- or contact your local police department.
At this time police are not recommending charges.