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'Really makes you proud to be from Lexington': Family reunites with dog taken during vehicle theft

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Posted at 4:05 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 18:36:07-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Lexington family’s search for their dog that was taken during a vehicle theft is finally over.

Suzanne Shaffar and her husband were on vacation in Florida when they received a call from a relative that their one-year-old Goldendoodle, Charlie, was missing.

Shaffar’s mother-in-law took the dog with her to run errands and left him inside a running car while she popped into a store in Lexington, according to Shaffar. The vehicle was stolen from the parking lot with Charlie inside.

“It was devastating,” Shaffar said.

The gold 2012 Toyota Sienna was reported stolen around 10:30 a.m., according to the Lexington Police Department.

Shaffar said she immediately turned to social media with a call for help. Her post was shared more than 1,500 times.

“We just started a movement throughout the community and the people that we knew to try to get the word out in the hopes of finding Charlie,” she said.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office found the stolen car around midnight in Frankfort with Charlie inside.

“Whoever stole the car had abandoned it but thought enough to leave the windows and the moonroof open so that there was some air circulating for Charlie. He was hot, dehydrated, and scared, but otherwise, he’s okay,” Shaffar said.

Shaffar said the crime is concerning, but she’s just happy Charlie is safe.

“I can’t wait to see him. I can’t wait to put my arms around him and the kids,” she said.

The Shaffar family said they have cut their vacation short and will be arriving in Lexington Thursday evening to see Charlie.

“We are so incredibly grateful to the community for their support. It really makes you proud to be from Lexington when you see how they rally around,” Shaffar said.

The investigation into the stolen vehicle is ongoing, according to the Lexington Police Department.

There have been at least 414 reported auto thefts between January and May 2021 in Lexington, according to data from the Lexington Police Department.