It’s always heartbreaking when a pet is stolen, but it’s even worse when it’s a service animal who you rely on.
That was the case last month, after a woman’s elderly service dog was stolen from her at a Walmart. But thankfully, her nightmare is over after the dog was found and the culprit was arrested.
Deborah Cyr, from South Berwick, Maine, was at the Walmart in Somersworth with her dog, a 9-year-old Mini-Pinscher mix named Emmy Lou.
According to the Sommersworth Police Department, Deborah had the dog attached to her shopping cart while waiting in line for the register. She turned away for a moment to grab a drink — but when she turned around, the dog was suddenly gone.
The woman got away, but surveillance cameras from the store captured a photo of the suspect.
“I looked over and she was gone, she was just gone,” Deborah told Foster’s Daily Democrat. “I just grabbed my purse and I took off after her yelling Emmy’s name. If Emmy wasn’t being held, she would run back to me. Her breed can run incredibly fast, but she didn’t stand a chance.”
Deborah was devastated. Not only did she lose her beloved service dog, on whom she relies for alerts with her medical conditions, but the dog’s age made her concerned for Emmy Lou’s health as well. According to the police report, the dog requires medication and a special diet.
“I just hope she’s OK, I can’t imagine how she’s handling this,” Deborah said. “She’s got to be so distraught, so scared and confused. If she doesn’t get the right care, she will start having issues within a matter of days.”
The Somersworth Police Department investigated the case, and got a call about a female who matched the description of their suspect.
The woman, Christine Olivia Powers, was arrested and taken into custody — and thankfully, Emmy Lou was found with her, safe and sound.
According to the police, Powers was arrested for misdemeanor theft.
After this heartbreaking ordeal, both the owner and dog were just happy to be reunited.
“It was just unbelievable,” Deborah told Foster’s. “I can’t think of any other words to say other than that it’s just so unbelievable to have her back. I was so worried about my girl, and here she is on my lap again.”
“It was obvious they were meant for each other,” Somersworth Capt. Tim Mclin told WMUR. “It was a pretty powerful reunion. She was very happy.”