When he informed staff at a pet shop in Gatineau, Quebec, about his alleged dognapping, a five-month-old Australian shepherd named Vango may have played a part in his own rescue.
Vango came into the store on Monday with a couple who usually came in to buy 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 recalled.
Jodoin recalled that he became immediately concerned when the couple didn't appear to be aware of the dog's basic information, including his exact age, whether he had undergone sterilization, what kind of food he consumed, and how much they had paid for him.
Jodoin added, "They were avoiding the inquiries. "The dog was still barking even though I was feeding it biscuits."
While this was going on, a colleague started searching social media for reports of stolen dogs and quickly found a picture of Vango. Just over two and a half hours earlier, the dog's Buckingham, Quebec, home had been discovered missing.
Jodoin abruptly realized he had trained Vango when he was a puppy, so he already knew the dog.
I shouted, "Vango, come!' at that time.The dog started to jump in response, Jodoin remembered. He was attempting to say, "Hey, I'm not the dog they say I am," the entire time by barking and prodding.
The pair claimed to have discovered the canine in the woods. Because of her poor health and inability to pay to get and train a dog, the woman told Jodoin she wanted to keep the dog as a support animal.
At the store, Jodoin urged the pair to give up the animal while they were surrounded by onlookers. Then he called Josée Francoeur, who was the rightful proprietor of Vango.
"I cry every time I talk about it."
Francoeur said of the time she received Jodoin's call, "I can't talk about it without crying."
Francoeur claimed the canine vanished after she let him out to use the restroom in her enclosed yard at around nine in the morning. Monday. Vango was gone when she peered out the door; he wasn't chipped.
Is there a chance he was kidnapped? Who could do that, I was thinking. It is not feasible!”
Francoeur posted an alert about lost animals as soon as possible on other social media platforms and the local SPCA website. She walked around her neighborhood sobbing, asking everyone she encountered if she had seen her dog. A police officer eventually stepped in to assist and typed up an official missing dog report.
When her phone rang, she had already begun to lose faith.
Imagine, Francoeur continued, "If those people hadn't gone to that pet store, I would have lost my dog for good."
filed a police report
She has now made a police complaint because she wants the couple to know the repercussions of their behavior.
"I don't want to cause them any issues. Why they did it is unknown to us. They took my baby 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 stole the dog as opposed to accidentally finding him.
The incident is being used by the SPCA de L'Outaouais to remind dog owners to have their pets microchipped. This is the same facility where the pair had taken Vango that morning to register the dog with a new name.
Francoeur reported that she had scheduled a visit to have Vango etched.
She said, "All of this could have been avoided.