On Wednesday, staff at the Petland in Lethbridge reported to police that the store’s resident bearded dragon had been stolen.
“‘If only she could talk and tell us where she’s been, and at the very least, just that while she was out, they at least treated her good because she is a special little lady and she deserves the best care in the world,” said Petland’s animal technician Kelsie Svihura.
Staff noted the bearded dragon named Lucy was missing from her tank on Feb. 10 when an employee when to feed her.
“Complete panic,” Svihura said. “Honestly, she’s not a very mobile dragon, so when we noticed that the lid was sort of askew on her tank, we knew that there was no way she could have climbed out on her own.
“She is an old lady, she is not that agile, so we knew right away that someone had to have taken her out.”
After reviewing security footage, it was obvious to the staff at Petland what had happened.
The Lethbridge Police Service provided Global News with more details about the case on Thursday.
“A review of video surveillance showed a woman reaching into the dragon’s enclosure on Feb. 10 just after 5:30 p.m. Staff subsequently posted the images to social media,” police said.
Svihura said the post went viral and that “thanks to the public’s help… that post reached over 100,000 people, which is more than the population of Lethbridge.”
Lucy lives full-time at the store. She has some special care needs due to a bone disease, so the store decided she would never be sold.
Svihura said Lucy quickly became the store mascot and a well-known reptile around town.
“Sometimes she goes to seniors’ homes to visit, and there is one senior home in particular that just absolutely adores her,” Svihura said.
The community pulled together to help bring her home and as soon as the post was up, the hunt was on to find Lucy.
“Shortly after, a tip came in,” Svihura said. “Another Lethbridge pet store called us to say that a bearded dragon had been dropped off with our phone number on the box.”
She was quickly returned to Petland on Wednesday.
Lucy is now home safe and sound and appears to be in good health.
Lethbridge police said they are investigating and have a person of interest in the case.