Bark back! ‘Stolen’ dog safe at home in Bushwick

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Call off the dogs!

Lily, a three-year-old pooch believed to have been stolen from outside a Bushwick bodega earlier this week, is back at home after a three-day, borough-wide dragnet and a ton of publicity, starting with an article on

An unidentified man dropped off the grey and white pit bull at the Brooklyn Animal Care Center in East New York on Thursday afternoon, according to Lily’s owner Lauren Paige Richeson, who had spent nearly every waking hour searching for the missing pup after it disappeared late Monday night.

The canine caper began after Richeson tied her dog to a pole while she picked up a few items at a convenience store at the corner of Broadway and Kosciuszko Street.

When she exited the store, the dog was nowhere to be seen and witnesses say they saw a man in a red shirt dragging Lily around the neighborhood by her collar.

Richeson said she was elated to be reunited with her dog, which she adopted three years ago from a pit bull rescue organization in Virginia.

“Part of me had accepted that I was never going to see my dog again,” said Richeson, who spent the past days frantically biking around Brooklyn and hanging up fliers. “It’s a crazy city and the chances of getting a pit bull back in Bushwick are slim to none.”

For her part, Lily seemed nonplussed by her ordeal.

“She had no idea what went on,” said Richeson. “She was like, ‘Okay, time to go home,’ and came home and got in her bed.”

Administrators at the shelter told Richeson that the name of the person who dropped the dog off is confidential, she said. Richeson is not sure how Lily got all the way out to East New York, but she’s convinced she didn’t get there on her own.

“It’s about five miles away and the terrain is impossible,” said Richeson,

She said she is going to continue to press police to find the felon who pilfered her pooch and is hoping officers will be able to identify the thief from video surveillance.

But, right now, her first priority is buying ice cream for all the neighborhood kids who helped her look for Lily.

“I can’t believe the way people rallied together,” said Richeson. “I thought it was going to be just me and my roommate searching, but people really cared. It put my faith back in humanity.”

Updated 5:35 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Sharon from Williamsburg says:
Maybe she shouldn't have left the dog tied to a pole. If you have chores to run then leave your dog at home, take care of your business and then go take your dog for a walk.
Aug. 17, 2012, 7:48 pm
Jeanne from Williamsburg says:
I totally agree with Sharon. If you know the chances of getting a pit bull stolen and returned in Bushwick are slim to none, why did you leave your dog out? That's heartless.
Aug. 18, 2012, 7 am
ty from pps says:
You two are really good at blaming the victim. Do you also tell your friends to dress in burlap sacks because anything else is just asking to be raped -- and apparently justifiably so.
Aug. 18, 2012, 9:02 am
B from Bushwick says:
It should be safe to take your dog out and leave him/her outside for a few minutes while you run into a store. Bringing your canine bud out with you on a quick run for some milk is not the issue - people stealing dogs is the issue. She did nothing wrong.

So happy you got you dog back!
Aug. 18, 2012, 1:26 pm
emilia from polish says:
Thats bad I feel sorry for the dog poor poor dog I hope he will find it
Aug. 19, 2012, 2:37 am
prick from in your mouth says:
you never leave a dog unattended and tied to a pole. irresponsible pet owner.
Aug. 19, 2012, 4:22 pm
Donna from Greenpoint says:
It's not blaming the victim. Unfortunately, people are heartless and cruel. Animals are helpless. Protect them!
Aug. 19, 2012, 11:28 pm
lauren says:
isnt the purpose of having a dog to take it with you? to let it explore? i am a single girl living in brooklyn for christ sake. and Lily is a better deterrent than pepper spray let me tell you that. and i should be able to take my dog with me anywhere i want with out the fear that evil heartless people would steal her. that is not the world i live in. i think the better of people, until they show me otherwise. but thanks for the suggestion. all that matters is lily is home safe!
Aug. 20, 2012, 9:55 am
JMS from Bushwick says:
I live in that hood and I would never leave my dog unattended for second.

First off...people STEAL dogs.

Second- Kids tease the crap out of dogs and get bitten which unless you want a lawsuit.... and I don't care how friendly your dog is. I witnessed a kid throwing rocks at a dog and another slapping a dog and pulling it's tail while the parents ignored the situation. Sorry some dogs will bite.

Third- Other dog owners with not so friendly dogs and have no control of their dog might cause a dog fight with your dog and your not there because your in the convenience store. I witnessed this with a dog tied outside a pizza place and another person not paying attention and walking by- DOG fight!

If you want trouble...then fine...leave your dog unattended.
Aug. 20, 2012, 1:07 pm
JMS from Bushwick says:
Hate to be harsh but welcome to Brooklyn where people will steal the shoes off your feet if you are passed out on a sidewalk...and will take a dog.
Aug. 20, 2012, 1:13 pm
MandM from Bushwick says:
I walk my dog around and people ask me how much I paid for it and whether it's for sale. Who asks that of someone who is just walking their dog? Like everything is status and price tags. So of course a dog would be taken in a second!
Aug. 20, 2012, 1:44 pm
Artie from Brooklyn says:
It is flat-out plain stupid and irresponsible to leave your dog tied up and unattended.
Aug. 20, 2012, 5:02 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
it is a dog not a kid - get over yourselves - annimals do not have 'rights' - maybe she shoulve nailed its nasty paws to the ground - dogs get stolen and im not an expert but it looks like a pit biull - if your kid is dumb enough to harass a dog well the apple doe not fall far from the tree
Aug. 20, 2012, 9:58 pm
maddy from Bushwick says:
I'm so glad you got your baby back.Never leave her tied up anywhere even to buy for a second. And this advice goes to anyone with pets. To many dogs get stolen or get loose and they never get seen again , so don't chance it. Please Please keep eyes on your dogs even when walking them cause other dogs might be close enough to want maul, bite yours. This happened to my moms dog while being walked and he nearly lost his life.YOUR DOGS RELY AND DEPEND ON YOU , SO PROTECT THEM!
Jan. 11, 2016, 11:14 am

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