LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Some families in Johnson County are heartbroken because they are missing important pieces.
At least four Boston terriers have been reported missing in the last week.
Ashton McCartney, 13, has not seen her family dog, Daisy, since her parents let it out in the back yard before bed Friday night.
“I just kind of took her in, and she became more my dog and my companion,” McCartney said. “Just couldn’t do life without her.”
Krista Phillips has not seen her dog, Boss, since last Monday.
“I have been a nervous wreck,” she admitted. “I have felt sick to my stomach just about every day, and my son cries himself to sleep every night.”
Both dogs are Boston terriers. There are not very many of them in a county of roughly 26,000 people. McCartney’s grandmother also has one that disappeared out of her fenced-in yard Saturday morning.
“Whenever (McCartney’s and her grandmother’s) females come up missing,” Phillips said, “that’s what made me really concerned that he might have been stolen.”
Phillips initially thought Boss had wandered off, and perhaps been attacked by another animal. She said he has a habit of roaming the neighborhood near her home, but never for more than an hour at a time.
“He has a couple of people that he visits on a daily basis,” she explained. “So, he’s kind of like the neighborhood dog, I guess.”
After scouring her neighborhood and checking the local animal shelter, Phillips convinced McCartney’s mother to report the thefts to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Sheriff Jones said his deputies are investigating, and asked all residents to report suspicious vehicles.
Phillips said that helps maintain her confidence that Boss will be found and returned. “Well, some moments I think, never,” she stated. “And then I have a lot of moments where I do feel hopeful.”
McCartney’s grandmother did get her dog back. A few hours after it was taken, she saw a tan car slow down outside her front door, let her dog, Minnie, out, and then drive away. Minnie had clearly been in the possession of someone who knew her rightful owner. McCartney said she was both relieved and devastated when Minnie was dropped off.
“I don’t know,” she began, with a sigh. “I was upset that she was gone. But it kind of made me more upset that they returned her and that they wouldn’t return my dog, if they did have her.”
They suspect someone in Johnson County is targeting Boston terriers, either to breed or to sell. Minnie was fixed, as was Daisy. McCartney’s family speculates she has not been returned because of her rare, reddish coloring. Boss, however had not been neutered.
McCartney said she would rather have her beloved dog home than know why Daisy was taken.
“If you’re watching this,” she said of the thief, “and you do have her, would you please bring her back to me? I haven’t slept in three nights, because she always sleeps with me and she’s not there. And I know she’s not, and I love her. Would you please bring her back?”
Phillips is offering a reward for Boss’ safe return. She hopes they can be reunited before Nov. 4. She bought Boss a special sweater to match his camouflage collar in anticipation of a family photo shoot.
“We’ve never had family photos taken before,” she added, “and it kind of sucks to have our very first one done without him.”
If you know where the dogs might be, call the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 479-754-2200.