Thieves broke into a Nanaimo backyard and made off with 10 German shepherd puppies in the wee hours of Monday morning.
Now the owner of the pups says her reputation has been unfairly attacked on social media, and that those who were planning to buy the dogs are devastated.
The puppies owner says they came from an unplanned pregnancy and she has never sold dogs until now. She had been preparing them for their final health check at eight weeks old before moving to their new homes when they were stolen.
“Each of these puppies had been chosen for their forever homes, and the families were due to pick them up today. They are devastated,” said Cassaundra Skaland-Kolotylo, the puppies’ owner.
Skaland-Kolotylo says it was just before 3 a.m. Monday when her teenage daughter heard the thieves who were closest to her bedroom window.
“She heard them coming through a gate a making a commotion with the puppies. She ran out on the balcony to see three grown adults carrying the puppies out of the driveway,” she said.
“One of them was dropped in the driveway, and she started screaming and came in and got me, and I came out and called the RCMP and they came over right away.”
Skaland-Kolotylo says her three kids are traumatized, and she fears returning to her Black Diamond Drive rental where she’s lived for the past two months.
Since the theft, she says people have been posting online suggesting the puppies weren’t stolen but rescued. Her address has been posted, and footage from her security cameras shows people coming onto the property and trying to move them.
“I have been told by several people there’s two specific individuals that have helped orchestrate this theft, and they are the ones committing slander and defamation of character all over social media,” said Skaland-Kolotylo.
She says she’s identified these individuals to police.
Nanaimo RCMP say it’s investigating and that this dog theft is unique.
“We’ll have a one-off where somebody walks by and takes a dog in a front yard. But to carry 10 from a kennel from a backyard, had to go through a closed gate and go to a waiting car is…we’ve never had that happen, so we’re hoping we can find out what’s going on here,” said Const. Gary O’Brien with Nanaimo RCMP.
Five of the 10 puppies have since been returned after being dropped off with the SPCA.
Skaland-Kolotylo still hopes the other five will also make their way home and that anyone with information will call police.
She also asks that people stop spreading misinformation about her.