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Lost/Stolen Chocolate Lab, Toronto (Huckleberry)

February 17th, 2008, 06:42 PM
You may have seen/ heard about this on the news.

Toronto man's dog was stolen from outside a bakery where a dog walker tied him up and left him alone while she went inside.

He is offering a reward for the safe return of his dog whom he misses and loves so very much.

Here is the information as posted on Toronto Humane Society's website:

Status: Lost
Date Lost: February 16, 2008
Pet Name: Huckleberry
Breed: Chocolate Lab
Age: 3 year(s)
Gender: Male
Weight: 82 lbs
Description: Friendly neutered chocolate lab with a small white patch on his chest. He was wearing a green collar (with a blue leash) at the time that he was taken. He is tattooed and microchipped.
Street Lost: Yonge
Nearest Intersection: Roxborough
City: Toronto

Contact Information
Name: Bert Clark
Phone 1: More Info: Huckleberry was taken at 9 a.m. on Saturday February 16th from in front of a bakery on Yonge Street, near Rosedale Subway. Any information at all would be greatly appreciated. Reward offered, no questions asked.

Date Posted: February 16, 2008
Website ID: Dog1742

February 17th, 2008, 08:33 PM
Oh yes, somebody sent me this link to the toronto star. I read about the story in the newspaper.

"Life isn't about money- it's about the connection you make with other souls. Huckleberry was like my soulmate." -- I really hope he is found soon (along with all the other dogs). At least some people in the world still have feelings.

Hucklberry is so cute.
HOping for a safe return really soon :fingerscr

February 17th, 2008, 09:16 PM
Poor's so sad. Such a nice area too, and usually pretty busy even in the winter so someone must've been really determined to get that dog. Hopefully the money will lure them in.

My roomate works at that intersection and all of the businesses in the area have been notified and are keeping watch.

:fingerscr for his safe return.

February 17th, 2008, 09:24 PM
I'm hopin he was neutered. If not someone has been watching the dog or knows of it and will use it as a stud :2cents: If the walker has taken this route before I'm sure she was being watched. People are sick and I"m sure she's just feeling awful for her responsibility in this.

Owner Bert Clark believes his chocolate Labrador Huckleberry was 'dog-napped' in front of bakery at Roxborough and Yonge Sts.

Feb 16, 2008 08:46 PM
Emma Reilly
Staff reporter

Somewhere in Toronto, there’s a chocolate Labrador with a huge price tag on his head — $15,000, to be precise.

That’s the reward Toronto resident Bert Clark, 37, is offering for the return of his dog, Huckleberry, after he was taken from outside a bakery Saturday morning.

“There isn’t any sum of money that I would associate with him,” Clark said Saturday night during a brief respite from combing the streets for his pet.

“Life isn’t about money — it’s about the connection you make with other souls. Huckleberry was like my soulmate.”

Huckleberry went missing while he was in the care of a dog walker, Clark said. She left the pooch tied up in front of a bakery at Roxborough and Yonge Sts., while she went inside for several minutes. When she came back outside, Huckleberry was gone.

Clark said that he has notified police and the Humane Society, but so far, Huckleberry remains at large. He describes the dog as 85 pounds, tall, with a sliver of white on his chest. He may also be wearing a green collar.

Clark was convinced that Huckleberry was tied up too tightly to have wandered away. Instead, Clark believed that Huckleberry was dog-napped.

“He was a gentle, trusting soul. He wouldn’t have expected anything bad from anybody,” said Clark. “What I would say to whoever has him is that they shouldn’t underestimate how important Huckleberry is to me. I’d be devastated if anything were to happen to him.”

Working with a team of about a dozen friends and family members, Clark has blanketed the area with some 200 posters; the only tip that’s come in so far is a report of two kids seen arguing and petting Huckleberry around the time he disappeared.

“I want whoever has him to realize that if this is a prank, it isn’t funny,” he said.

Clark said he’s also considering ads in local newspapers if Huckleberry isn’t found soon.

“I’m only interested in his safe return. I just want this to end,” he said. “He’s playful, he had a sense of humour, he loved kids . . . he was the perfect dog

February 18th, 2008, 08:25 AM
Fortunately, Huckleberry has been returned to his owner:

February 18th, 2008, 03:22 PM
I'm so glad to hear this story had a happy ending.

People leaving their dogs tied up is one thing, but the fact that a hired dog walker did this? I find that absolutely appauling! If she wants to go inside a store, she should have done that before or after she had the dog with her for a walk.

February 18th, 2008, 03:40 PM
Frantic owner with deep bond to Lab explains why he offered $15,000 for the dog's return

Feb 18, 2008 04:30 AM
Debra Black
Staff Reporter

It had all the drama of the television whodunit "Without A Trace."

Bert Clark sat in his living room yesterday holding his head in his hands as he and his friends juggled phones and ran a grassroots campaign to find his beloved Labrador retriever, who he believed was taken outside a Yonge St. café Saturday morning.

Clark was in such despair he had offered a $15,000 reward for the 3 1/2-year-old chocolate Lab named Huckleberry, who had been with Clark since he was 8 weeks old. Surrounded by friends and family at his home near Roxborough and Yonge Sts., Clark was so distraught he hardly slept.

"I won't be able to sleep until I know he's safe," he said yesterday.

Early today, an excited Clark called the Star to say Huckleberry, the victim of a dog-napping, had been returned safe and sound.

"Thank God he's okay," Clark told the Star's Emma Reilly. "I haven't slept in two days. I'm a wreck."

Huckleberry was returned yesterday after police received a tip from the alleged doggy-nappers. Clark didn't say whether or not he issued the $15,000 reward.

"He's healthy, he's safe, and he's happy to see me," Clark said.

Clark had scoffed yesterday at any suggestion the reward was excessive. "This is a member of my family. I've never been in this house alone without him. He and I – it's our house. My life revolves around him. You know the adage: `A dog is man's best friend.' Well, he is my best friend."

Clark, 36, who works in the banking industry, had pulled in all the resources he could yesterday. Police took a statement and were involved. Officers seized TTC video footage from subway stations to try to track down possible dog-nappers seen outside Le Petit Gourmet café and were canvassing local stores. Clark's friends and family were out canvassing and putting up posters. Even strangers offered to help.

Clark frantically paced his living room and dining room – cellphone in one hand, cigarette in the other. His parents arrived to help out. They had just come from putting up posters in Parkdale, the Eaton Centre and along Queen St. in Leslieville. All the dog parks were covered off, as well as Fort York and Yonge St. between St. Clair and Front Sts.

Just after 1 p.m. a caller suggested the dog-napping hunch may be right. The caller asked Clark if he was prepared to give $15,000 for the dog's safe return. He said "yes" and then the phone went dead. Another call came soon after and he overheard a man and a woman arguing. Then he was asked if his dog had a green collar. Clark frantically answered "yes" again.

Then the line went dead.

Clark began making arrangements to get the cash ready.

Meanwhile, his dog walker Shannon Howard sat quietly in the living room.

She looked pale, tired and distraught. It was she who had been walking Huckleberry at 9 a.m. Saturday when she stopped to get something to eat at Le Petit Gourmet near Roxborough St. She said bystanders saw two teens – a male and female – petting the dog and hovering around him outside. She was only in the café for five minutes, she said.

When she returned Huckleberry was gone.

Clark was in Florida when he got the news of Huckleberry's disappearance.

He flew to Florida on Friday night, got the call the next morning, and turned right around and came back home.

The bond he feels with his dog has kept him going over the past 48 hours. Clark and his dog spent weekends at the cottage together. He slept with Clark each night. "He's a very gentle and trusting kind of dog with a sense of humour ... he is a priority in my life. I plan my day around

February 18th, 2008, 08:40 PM
What a relief for this man and his best friend.

the gang
February 18th, 2008, 09:00 PM
wounderful news :thumbs up so happy for the man and the pup

February 19th, 2008, 09:06 AM
From what I heard on the news last night, he paid the money, didn't give anymore details other than that. What cretins, the same kind of cretins that are keeping Billie, Sable and Spencer and won't hand them over even though they must know that they are somebody's loved family member.
I'd change dog walkers though. :2cents:

February 19th, 2008, 09:18 AM
I'm definitely glad he found his dog but at the same time I'm worried that others will think that 'stealing' is now profitable. I wish I would have gone to the media when Billie went missing...

February 19th, 2008, 01:44 PM
Just read the Toronto Star, says the police are going to investigate. Also states the name of the guy the money went to, apparently $5,000 is going to a charity. They said that a friend found Huckleberry tied up not far from where he went missing. That the exchange happened at midnight.
One thing I found interesting it said that offering a reward for something is illegal under the Crimanal Code of Canada. Something else you can't do in this so called democracy.

February 19th, 2008, 01:51 PM
One thing I found interesting it said that offering a reward for something is illegal under the Crimanal Code of Canada. Something else you can't do in this so called democracy.

I never heard that before...there has been many a reward offered in the past...but.. I'm most skeptic about this happening.... and I always worry when I see a dog tied up to a post and the owner is inside where it's warm and comfortable for shopping, etc. It somehow doesn't seem fair even though they have a fur coat on...surely, the fur coat is only warm if the dog is running.....?

February 20th, 2008, 05:40 AM
Here is the latest in The Star this morning. It will send out the message that stealing dogs is NOT profitable: