NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – A Louisiana couple visiting New Orleans had their truck stolen from a gas station in Gentilly Woods with their four dogs inside early last Tuesday (July 19).
“It happened so fast, we couldn’t believe it,” said the owner, who asked that his identity be concealed.
They left the truck running in a parking lot in the 4300 block of Louisa Street around shortly after midnight last Tuesday morning. They said they wanted to make sure their four dogs had air conditioning while they ran inside.
New Orleans police said they believe the man pictured below drove off in the truck.
“We called the police and to our surprise, the police told us that they couldn’t step in and do anything,” the owner said.
The couple filed a report, but said an officer never came to the scene.
Desperate, they turned to someone they believed could help.
“A couple came in like really just frantic, freaking out saying that their car had been stolen and that their dogs were inside,” said Emily Hicks with Villalobos Rescue Center.
Villalobos Rescue Center took to social media with the call for help.
“Pit bulls can have, like, a tough rap. But they are just big babies just like any other dog. So, we just really want to get them home,” Hicks said.
They were surprised at the amount of tips that began to pour in.
“The crime around here is insane and it can really like get to you. But to see the community really come together and help, it does make you feel good to know that everyone’s fed up and everyone really wants to do something to help,” Hicks said.
The abducted dogs are country dogs, not used to a city setting, and were possibly tossed from the truck and scattered around the city.
One pup was found last Tuesday running around North Claiborne Avenue, near one of the rescue’s facilities.
The rescue then got a tip about another pup, laying by the road in the Florida area.
“We saw her crate across the street, like absolutely demolished. So she had been just sitting there with the crate,” Hicks said.
Then another kind soul found the mama dog Sunday, injured under his home by the Fair Grounds.
“Who knows what she’s been through?” Hicks said. “We really wish these dogs could talk.”
She is stitched up and recovering, happy to be back with her pups and her owners, but not without consequences.
“They’re traumatized. They’re confused as to why it happened,” the owner said.
New Orleans police recovered the stolen truck, but the couple is still stuck, waiting to get a new key. All their money left inside also was stolen.
What they’re most worried about, however, is Galactus, their fourth dog who is still missing.
“He’s very friendly, so I think that’s why they took him with them,” the owner said.
The rescuers at Villalobos said they won’t quit.
“It just seems like such an impossible feat. Like, the city is so big and then we find one,” Hicks said. “So, I don’t know, I just really believe that we’re gonna find him.”
Galactus is pictured below. He is a black unaltered male with cropped ears. If you happen to spot him, call or text Villalobos at (504) 229-4229. You can remain anonymous.
Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to contact NOPD Third District detectives at (504) 658-6030 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
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