The owners of an 8-month-old puppy, apparently stolen from her Riverside County home on Thanksgiving, were reunited with the dog this week. They were shocked to find someone had dyed her reddish-brown-and-white fur black.
“We believe it was an act of deception,” said Frank Corvino, deputy director of Riverside County Field and Shelter Services. “The dye job is not very good, but it would work if someone’s looking for their missing, reddish-brown dog.”
Owners Christoper Ingrassi and Heather Lowry adopted Coco from Riverside County’s San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus on Oct. 29.
At the time, animal services officials implanted a microchip under Coco’s skin, containing a description of the dog and her owners’ information.
Coco, who was described as a very friendly and sweet dog, simply vanished from the owners’ yard, and they believe someone stole her.
That theory gained credibility this week, when an animal control officer from Ramona Humane Society found Coco running stray. Authorities scanned the microchip and did a double-take upon realizing the description that came up didn’t match the dog before them.
“When I was called, I didn’t believe it,” said Lowry. “I was shocked. I didn’t think someone would go so far as to dyeing a dog’s fur to keep them.”
Lowry said she is advising all of her fellow pet owners to make sure their animals are microchipped.