When he informed staff at a pet store in Gatineau, Quebec, about his suspected dognapping, a five-month-old Australian shepherd named Vango may have played a part in his own rescue.
Vango walked into the store on Monday with a couple who usually came in to purchase cat food, according to Yves Jodoin, a staff member and canine trainer at Au Royaume des Animaux.
The dog was “barking, poking, and really trying to get my attention,” Jodoin remembered.
When the pair didn’t seem to know the dog’s basic information, like his exact age, whether he had been sterilized, what kind of food he consumed, and how much they had paid for him, Jodoin claimed he became immediately concerned.
Jodoin said, “They were avoiding the questions. The dog was receiving biscuits from me, yet it continued to bark.
As a coworker searched social media for reports of stolen pets, a picture of Vango immediately appeared. Just over two and a half hours earlier, the dog’s Buckingham, Quebec, home had been reported missing.
Jodoin immediately recalled he had trained Vango when he was a puppy, thus he already knew the dog.
“I then shouted, ‘Vango, come!’ at that time. The dog began to respond by leaping,” Jodoin remembered. He continuously barked and prodded, attempting to communicate, “Hey, I’m not the dog they say I am.”
The dog, according to the couple, was discovered in the woods. The woman explained to Jodoin that because of her poor health and inability to pay to have and train a dog, she wanted to keep the puppy as a support animal.
Jodoin pushed the pair to give up the animal while they were surrounded by onlookers at the store. Then he called Josée Francoeur, Vango’s rightful owner.
‘I can’t talk about it without sobbing’
When asked about the time she received Jodoin’s call, Francoeur replied, “I can’t talk about it without crying.”
Around nine o’clock on Monday, Francoeur reported the dog vanished after she let him out to use the restroom in her fenced yard. Vango, who was not chipped, was gone as she peered out the door.
Is it conceivable that he was kidnapped? I also questioned, “Who could do that? It is not feasible.
Francoeur soon posted a missing animal alert on various social media platforms including the local SPCA website. She walked throughout her neighborhood in tears, asking everybody she encountered whether they had seen her dog. At one point, a police officer stepped in to assist and entered a formal complaint of a lost dog.
She was starting to lose hope when her phone rang.
Imagine, Francoeur said, “I would have lost my dog for good if those people hadn’t gone to that pet store.”
Filed police complaint
“I don’t want to cause them any issues. Why they did that is unknown to us. They took my kid at the same moment, though,” Francoeur continued. “I want to deter other people from doing this.”
Before charging the pair, Gatineau police said they must prove they intentionally took the puppy as opposed to accidentally finding him.
The SPCA de L’Outaouais, where the couple had gone Vango that morning to register the dog with a new name, is using the event to warn dog owners to have their pet microchipped.
Francoeur said she’s set an appointment to get Vango microchipped.