WINNIPEG – Dogs trained to find bedbugs and drugs went missing in Winnipeg after a vehicle with 10 animals in it was stolen early Monday. All 10 dogs were found before noon.
“Just relieved that I didn’t lose my kids,” said James Artibello, who owns A-scent K-9 Detection Service in Toronto and was in Winnipeg on business. “They’re treated the same way as family. It’s good to have them back.”
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The yellow ambulance-style vehicle the dogs were in was stolen from the Four Points by Sheraton Winnipeg South on Pembina Highway early Monday morning. The dogs were inside the locked vehicle but Artibello said he had to leave it running all night to keep the dogs warm.
“I don’t think anyone knew there were dogs in the thing. They just took it because it was running, got into it fast and left,” said Artibello.
Police got their first inkling something was wrong when they got a call at about 6:30 a.m., reporting several dogs running loose in a Parkville Drive yard in St. Vital. Police went to the home and rounded up eight dogs.
Not long after, they found out about the theft of the vehicle with the 10 dogs in it.
Dave Reimer found the two remaining dogs, Titan, 5, and Bailey, a seven-month-old pup, in his neighbour’s backyard near Dunkirk Drive and Moore Avenue.
“I brought a little bit of meat out to them. I was hoping they’d come up to me, but I couldn’t get close to them to check their tags. That’s when I called animal services,” said Reimer.
Artibello and police thanked the public and the media for helping to find Baile and Titan.
Artibello has had detection dogs since 2010 and said each dog is worth more than $10,000.
The vehicle the dogs were in was found abandoned in the alley of the 400 block of Young Street at about 4:20 p.m. No arrests have been made.