KELOWNA — Atlas the purloined pooch is safe at home in Kelowna after being found in Penticton, more than 60 kilometres away.
Over the past few days, Kelowna RCMP have received numerous tips from the public and continued to follow up on a number of potential leads,” said Kelowna RCMP Cst. Lesley Smith. While working closely with the complainant, our members were able to track down Atlas location and he was returned to his owner just after 4 p.m. this afternoon.”
Okanagan-area RCMP had been searching for Atlas, a golden retriever, since March 9 when the 18-month-old dog was lured from its fenced yard in Kelowna’s Mission district by an unknown woman.
The suspect ran off with the dog, prompting police to release surveillance video of the theft and appeal for help from the public.
At the time, investigators said the theft may have been targeted and Ian Galt, father of Atlas’ owner, says the family began receiving texts on Tuesday night demanding a $5,000 reward for the dog’s safe return.
Galt says those details were passed to RCMP and the family enjoyed an exuberant reunion with Atlas after officers contacted them Wednesday to report the pet was safe and well.
Police have not released details about what led them to Atlas or whether suspects have been identified.
On Monday, Galt began getting text messages from a person who claimed to have recovered Atlas, but they also wanted to recover a $5,000 reward the family had offered for the dog’s return.
“This exhausting chase is now over. There are no words to describe how happy I am to announce that I have Atlas back,” Galt writes.
He says a reward will be split among three people “who were instrumental in recovery of Atlas,” adding he doubts the dog would have been returned without the help of those three and the assistance of Kelowna RCMP.
A Kelowna man who had his dog stolen from a fenced yard says it isn’t over for the woman who stole his pet.
Atlas the golden retriever was taken by a woman at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday from the property on Taylor Crescent. Surveillance video shows the woman approaching the fence, opening it and running down the road with the dog.
“We felt absolutely sick to our stomachs… It’s been a horrific feeling having a piece of our family taken away from us,” said Taylor Galt. “It’s been an emotional rollercoaster.”
Galt purchased Atlas as a puppy from a breeder and says it stays at his father’s home while he is away at work.
After four days of desperately searching, Ian Galt was contacted Tuesday night by a man saying he has the dog but would only give it back if he was paid.
The happy owner posted, There were three people who were instrumental in recovery of Atlas, who will be getting the reward. Without their help, and the Kelowna Police Im not sure when we would get Atlas back home.
“We’ve been getting these text messages from this person in Penticton… I believe he was associated with the person who stole the dog,” said Ian. “He was just interested in getting the reward money.”
This comes after Kelowna RCMP released video footage of the pet being allegedly dognapped from Galts fathers home over the weekend.
“A woman named Jessica and two people who want to remain anonymous were very helpful in the recovery of Atlas and those are the three people who will get the reward we offered,” said Ian. “The money is going to the good people.”
Police say their priority was bringing Atlas home and won’t be giving any further updates at this time.
Police reunited a Kelowna pet owner with his stolen dog Wednesday afternoon – after it was allegedly held for ransom.
On Tuesday night, Ian Galt was contacted by text message from an individual saying they had the dog and demanding a $5,000 reward.
“The police told us to come down and sit at a coffee shop and wait for them to call us,” said Galt.
Details about who took the dog and why are unclear at this time. Castanet is waiting for more details from police.
“A dog was held for ransom, not a guy who found the dog all in good faith,” said Galt. “We feel he was actively involved in the theft of Atlas.”
The family posted a $5,000 reward for anyone who could return the dog after a woman with blonde hair took Atlas from Galt's fenced yard.
“We are absolutely going forward with charges to the woman we feel responsible for the theft,” said Galt.
A Kelowna family whose dog was stolen from their yard tells Castanet they received a text message from someone saying they have the pet.
Surveillance video shows a woman walking up to a fenced property on Taylor Crescent on Saturday. She stands in front of the fence, opens it, takes the golden retriever and then runs down the street.
Atlas the dog had been staying with Ian Galt while Galt's son, Taylor, was away at work.
Galt said Wednesday morning they are working to prove that the dog the person claims to have is actually Atlas, but he strongly believes it is.
“I’m worried sick for him,” said Taylor on Tuesday night. “It’s been very tough.”
Police have not provided any comment on the new information. We will update as the situation unfolds.