Missouri Stolen Dog Case Goes Viral: Man Offers Thieves Car if They Return His Pug "Dugout"

Categories: Animals, News

via Facebook / Doug Clark
Doug Clark didn't even realize his Facebook post about his stolen pug named Dugout would be viewable to the public, but within days of publishing his status update, the story of his missing dog went viral, earning him thousands of online supporters across the country and beyond.

"I was just trying to reach the local community," Clark, a Marshfield resident, tells Daily RFT. "It's an overwhelming amount of support at all hours of the day. It's reached Australia! It's crazy."

The case of his snatched dog is certainly not a typical missing-pet story -- and given the intense attention, he is hopeful that he and his children will get a chance to reunite with Dugout soon.

See also: Dog Burned Dead in St. Louis, Group Offers Reward; "Just Unfathomable"

Clark, 30, was apparently in Springfield last Thursday when a man and a woman hopped into his 2009 black Nissan Pathfinder and drove off right before his eyes.

Dugout was inside the car.

"I saw the man in my car driving," he tells us.

via Facebook / Doug Clark

The theft reportedly happened at a recycling center, and he was unable to stop the criminals from driving off.

He reported it to police but without any results the following day he put up a lengthy message on Facebook, an open letter to the car thieves with a rather unusual offer: "I have an idea. You two just keep the ride. I'll meet you with the title to make your life easier. All you gotta bring is an alive Pug."

Here are screenshots of that post, which has been shared more than 85,000 times with more than 40,000 likes:

via Facebook / Doug Clark

via Facebook / Doug Clark

The post came with this photo of Clark holding the physical title:

via Facebook / Doug Clark

He also posted information about the stolen car and photos of the vehicle on his page, which has a steady stream of commenters offering tips about potential missing pugs that could be Dugout. Prayers and comments of support are coming in from all over the U.S. and overseas.

via Facebook / Doug Clark

"I feel like the walls are caving in on the people who took my car," he says. "Somebody somewhere will leak something."

Clark, who owns a computer software developing company, got Dugout for his 30th birthday. And his three children -- ages five, six and nine -- want to reunite with the dog just as much as he does.

"It's extremely important to my kids. It's hard on them," he says.

The suspects ultimately need to face consequences for their actions, he adds. "What I'm most concerned about is that this doesn't happen to somebody else."

Here are some more pics of Dugout that he posted on Facebook after the theft.

via Facebook / Doug Clark

via Facebook / Doug Clark

via Facebook / Doug Clark

via Facebook / Doug Clark

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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Sending Prayers you get your baby back...I'm a Pug mom  and it would kill me to lose Pudge.


Does Doug really expect the thieves to meet with him after (1) he spouts nasty comments about them;  (2) threatens them, I know who you are; and (3) best of all, photos of what his car looks like.   The thieves probably did not even know Dugout was in the car.  He's a small dog and when you're stealing a car you don't look around to see what's in it. If Doug had any smarts, he would be as pathetic, heartbroken as could be to induce the thieves to return Dugout or drop Dugout off somewhere.  How is it no one is asking why this Doug left Dugout in his car unattended, with unlocked door and motor running / keys in the ignition?  I also recycle. You have to have no one  ahead of you to be serviced; the item you're bringing in has to be looked at; you have to wait for a receipt for the item and to be given money, more than enough time for thieves to hop in a car and drive off;  Thieves are not supposed to be all that smart, but how dumb would these thieves be to meet with Doug for his title to the car. What do they do with the license plate?  Keep it, and be caught by the police,; try to get a new plate, with a permanent Vehicle Identification Number imprinted and the Dept. of Motor Vehicles alerted.  And, of course, all those photos of the car. And would they really expect that there would be no police jumping out from behind trees the moment they would hand Dugout over to Doug?   There was a recent story of Maru, a 10 year old dog, ,left alone in unlocked car/motor running or keys in ignition while his owner left the car to pick up his wife and daughter.  A thief stole the car, abandoned it, with windows still up on a hot day.  Maru died in the most horrendous way.  It would have taken these owners 2 seconds to turn the motor off/lock the car door.  Two lousy seconds. Maru would be alive and Dugout would not be in any danger.  I'm sick to death of these ignorant owners jeopardizing their pets.  They would not leave their children in an unprotected car, but hey leave their pet.  That shows you the disregard they have for their animal, regardless of whatever bilge they come up with that the pet is a member of their family. 

Lavonne Lea Rea
Lavonne Lea Rea

Anybody out there see the movie"7 Psychos"? The actors portray guys who make a living kidnapping dogs and then selling them! Its actually a very interesting, @ times funny, movie, starring Christopher Walken. However, there is nothing funny about it to the owners. Best wishes on recovering your stolen pets!

Jolena Shatzer
Jolena Shatzer

Too bad the owner of Tiki doesn't have a car to use as leverage. She's been trying to bring her Chi home since this spring, visit Bring Tiki Home for details. Most promising lead was a woman spotted walking a Chi matching Tiki's description in Soulard near Bogart's. Hope he and his family are reunited with Dugout soon.

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