March 13, 2019 8:24 pm
Updated: March 14, 2019 2:29 pm

RCMP reunite Kelowna family with stolen dog in ’emotional’ moment

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UPDATE:

A dognapping is over in the Okanagan and an elated family has been reunited with its Golden Retriever, Atlas, thanks to RCMP.

It was “an emotional outburst of joy for happiness for the family and I’m sure the entire animal loving community, as well,” Taylor Galt, Atlas’ owner, told Global News.

After four nights without their beloved dog, the Galt family was greeted by friends and family when they returned home to Kelowna with their pet on Wednesday afternoon.

“I do have a very good idea of who took my dog — who the lady was,” Galt said.

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.

RCMP told the Galts to wait at a location in Penticton while officers retrieved the animal on Wednesday.

“The police called us. They said they had Atlas,” Galt said of their reunion. “They opened up the back door and he came running into my arms crying.

“It truly was a remarkable moment.”

Galt suspects the man who was texting them was working with the woman who stole the 18-month-old dog from their Taylor Cres. backyard on Saturday night, an event that was caught on a neighbour’s surveillance camera.

“I believe I know exactly who it was. I can’t reveal the name, but I have 100 per cent confidence in who it was,” Galt said.

RCMP said the investigation into the theft remains ongoing.

“Returning Atlas to his Kelowna home was our first priority and no further updates will be provided at this time,” Const. Lesley Smith said in an email late Wednesday.

Galt said they did not pay the ransom to the man who had Atlas, but told his followers on social media he would give it to others.

“There were three people who were instrumental in recovery of Atlas, who will be getting the reward. Without their help, and the Kelowna Police I’m not sure when we would get Atlas back home.”

After posting about the theft on social media Saturday, the Galts said they received hundreds of messages from people across the country.

“I need to say thank you to everyone who has messaged me and given me hope,” Galt said. “This was a devastating moment for our entire family, for myself, [for] everyone included.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

Global News has breaking news that a Kelowna family has been reunited with its stolen dog, Atlas.

The Galt family was in Penticton where they met with police and got their dog back.

WATCH BELOW: Okanagan dog owner believes pet theft was not random

Details of where the dog was found are not yet available, but Atlas is on his way back to Kelowna with his family.

“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.”

READ MORE: Video shows alleged dognapping of Golden Retriever in Kelowna

Police added that the investigation is ongoing.

Surveillance video showed the theft of the 18-month-old Golden Retriever on Saturday night, at approximately 7:30 p.m., from the family’s fenced-in yard along the 2400 block of Taylor Crescent in the Mission area.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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