NEW YORK (CBSNewYork.com) – It’s a happy ending to what could have been a sad tale for one Manhattan woman.
Jenny Malone’s Beagle, Monalisa, “Mona” for short, was allegedly taken from outside a West Village bakery on July 30.
Malone said she went into the bakery at around 3 p.m. to grab a cup of coffee, tied the dog up outside and didn’t think anything of it. “Living in the West Village, I always felt it was safe — it has a neighborhood feel,” Malone told CBSNewYork.com.
When she came out, her beloved pooch was gone. Witnesses described the man who took Mona as homeless-looking.
The owners of the bakery told Malone that they knew of the man and they’d seen him around. “He always has dogs with him—we know he’s homeless. He lays out on the Christopher Street Pier,” they told Malone.
When she asked the bakery owners what he did with the dogs, they replied they didn’t know.
Distraught, Malone filed a police report and began a frantic search. With the help of friends and family, she canvassed the area and placed fliers around the West Village — in the PATH stations, etc., hoping someone would recognize Mona and call her. She was also offering a reward for Mona’s return.
The search turned up empty and Malone said she had to spend the night without her canine companion. At this point, she said, she wasn’t sure what to do.
That’s when her friend’s mom had an idea: To search area parks in hopes of finding the dog.
It was a great hunch. Malone said her friend’s mom found Mona in a park, 16 hours later, in Union Square with a homeless man.
Not the same man who allegedly took her, however.
Malone said although police advised to call them first, her friend’s mother gave the man $100.
He gave her the dog without any trouble.
Malone said before Mona was found in the park, she and friends canvassed areas where homeless people tend to congregate. While walking along Canal and Houston Streets, she said she noticed lots of fliers for missing/stolen dogs and wondered if it is a trend.
“I want to get the word out, because I feel like people are stealing these dogs to sell them.”
Malone said they are going to the police today to give a description of the man who had Mona.
When asked how Mona was doing, she said fantastic. “She was a little dehydrated because she probably wasn’t given any water, and she is a little stinky, but otherwise great.”
Is there a homeless dog-napping ring in the city? Let us know below.