UPDATE 8:30 p.m.
A Kelowna man who had his dog stolen from a fenced yard says it isn’t over for the woman who stole his pet.
Atlas the golden retriever was taken by a woman at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday from the property on Taylor Crescent. Surveillance video shows the woman approaching the fence, opening it and running down the road with the dog.
“We felt absolutely sick to our stomachs… It’s been a horrific feeling having a piece of our family taken away from us,” said Taylor Galt. “It’s been an emotional rollercoaster.”
Galt purchased Atlas as a puppy from a breeder and says it stays at his father’s home while he is away at work.
The family decided to post a reward of $5,000 for the return of Atlas.
After four days of desperately searching, Ian Galt was contacted Tuesday night by a man saying he has the dog but would only give it back if he was paid.
“We’ve been getting these text messages from this person in Penticton… I believe he was associated with the person who stole the dog,” said Ian. “He was just interested in getting the reward money.”
Police officers went to the man’s business in Penticton on Wednesday and got Atlas back.
Ian says their reward of $5,000 will be going to the people who helped bring the dog home.
“A woman named Jessica and two people who want to remain anonymous were very helpful in the recovery of Atlas and those are the three people who will get the reward we offered,” said Ian. “The money is going to the good people.”
Police say their priority was bringing Atlas home and won’t be giving any further updates at this time.
“For the woman who stole Atlas, it is definitely not over for her,” said Galt.
UPDATE: 5 p.m.
Police reunited a Kelowna pet owner with his stolen dog Wednesday afternoon – after it was allegedly held for ransom.
Atlas the golden retriever was taken by a woman about 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
On Tuesday night, Ian Galt was contacted by text message from an individual saying they had the dog and demanding a $5,000 reward.
Galt called Castanet at 4:40 p.m. Wednesday to say his son Taylor was reunited with his dog.
“The police told us to come down and sit at a coffee shop and wait for them to call us,” said Galt.
Police retrieved the dog from Penticton and brought him to the Galts.
“We got him back!” said Galt. “The three of us are driving home.”
Details about who took the dog and why are unclear at this time. Castanet is waiting for more details from police.
“A dog was held for ransom, not a guy who found the dog all in good faith,” said Galt. “We feel he was actively involved in the theft of Atlas.”
The family posted a $5,000 reward for anyone who could return the dog after a woman with blonde hair took Atlas from Galt's fenced yard.
“We are absolutely going forward with charges to the woman we feel responsible for the theft,” said Galt.
ORIGINAL: 10 a.m.
A Kelowna family whose dog was stolen from their yard tells Castanet they received a text message from someone saying they have the pet.
Atlas the dog had been staying with Ian Galt while Galt's son, Taylor, was away at work.
Galt said Wednesday morning they are working to prove that the dog the person claims to have is actually Atlas, but he strongly believes it is.
“We are getting closer to being reunited with Atlas,” said Galt.
The family is also trying to work with police to bring the dog home.
“I’m worried sick for him,” said Taylor on Tuesday night. “It’s been very tough.”
Footage from the dognapping shows a woman with blonde hair take the dog.
A reward of $5,000 was posted by the family for the safe return of Atlas.
Police have not provided any comment on the new information. We will update as the situation unfolds.