When Darlene Kent realized her black lab puppy was missing from her backyard, she said she felt sick to her stomach — someone had stolen him.
“They took his dish of food with him too,” she said. “Obviously the dog wouldn’t have taken that with him. It’s terrible.”
Kent said that when her boyfriend Charlie returned to their Highlands area home after work one afternoon, he realized that someone jumped the fence, and stole eight-month-old Leonard out of the backyard.
“The fence is solid wood, with key-locked gates on either side, they would have had to have jumped it.”
The couple has been caring for Leonard since Kent put him under the Christmas tree in December. The black lab, cocker spaniel cross puppy was a gift for the two to become parents all over again, as Kent’s kids have all left home.
“He followed me all over the house. Sometimes he and Charlie would greet me on the steps or bus stop when I came home from work. He became every aspect of our lives,” she said.
Since the theft two weeks ago, Kent said she continues looking for Leonard, and has pinned up hundreds of posters and calls the city pound twice every day.
“I cry all the time,” she said. “Everything around the house has changed.
“This person has to be pretty low and have no regard for the animal, because it’s part of someone’s family,” Kent said. “I used to call Charlie paranoid because he was so careful with him, but I guess he’s not just paranoid.”
Kent is offering a generous reward for anyone that brings Leonard home safely.
“He was loved beyond anything and we really want him back — he was part of the family.”