Local News

Durham family reunited with pet stolen in break-in

Posted August 29, 2013

— A Durham family found their pet dog Thursday night after it was stolen in a break-in this week and sold to another family.

Elizabeth Newman said she was hanging flyers about Sophie, the missing 7-pound Yorkshire terrier, on Roxboro Road when Ronald Leathers, a sixth grader at Shepherd Middle School, approached her and said he knew where to find the dog. Leathers led Newman to the home of a family who said they had purchased the dog.

That family returned Sophie to Newman. It wasn't immediately clear how or from whom they bought the yorkie.

Newman said Leathers will receive a $500 reward for reuniting her with Sophie. 

Earlier Thursday, WRAL News visited the Newman family’s home, where the living room showed just how hard they were working to find Sophie, who was taken by someone who broke into their home.

Elizabeth Newman and her husband spent hours helping their daughter, Kathyrn Newman, make lost dog posters and calling local animal hospitals to try to find her beloved pet.

“I drove around to every vet that I could think of in Durham and gave them these posters,” said Kathryn Newman, who lives in the Forest Hills neighborhood with her mom and dad.

“I always wanted a Yorkshire terrier,” she said. “It was my dream to have a yorkie.”

Kathryn Newman’s dream came true when her parents gave her the dog as a present when she graduated from middle school nine years ago.

She said she left home for an hour Tuesday when a burglar broke in by throwing a flower pot through a kitchen window. The house was ransacked.

Dog stolen from Durham home Dog stolen from Durham home

“The furniture was tossed everywhere and moved around,” Kathryn Newman said. “The drawers were all open.”

Jewelry and electronics were taken. But worst of all, Sophie was missing, too.

“Eventually, we found a leash had been stolen as well when we started going through everything, which leads us to believe they took her,” Kathryn Newman said.

She said neighbors rallied to help, spreading the word about the missing pup. 

“That’s my baby,” she said. “She’s been a big part of my life for a long time, so it’s hard.”


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  • amenmike Aug 30, 2013

    I'd bet my last penny the people who were found with the dog, know doggone well who they "bought" the dog from and they need to be leaned on to give up the name or be charged with receiving stolen property.

  • anneonymousone Aug 30, 2013

    Hurray for the young man who reunited the pup with her people!

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Aug 30, 2013

    Shouldn't they prosecute the buyers for possession of stolen goods? They surely new something was fishy...but what do they care? Well, maybe they will now...

  • nicolle Aug 30, 2013

    "lessismore" -- The original article posted yesterday at 6pm reported about the dog being stolen. At that point, she had not been found (or at least WRAL reported; it looks like the article was updated at 10:30 last night). I'm so glad the dog was found!

  • foster208 Aug 30, 2013

    What a happy ending. I'm so glad the little dog was recovered.

  • lessismore Aug 30, 2013

    Doesn't the article say they found the dog? Some people can not read......

  • mfarmer1 Aug 29, 2013

    dang that's just wrong, give her dog back!

  • outhousecat Aug 29, 2013

    This makes me too sad to comment. I hope they find her soon.

  • nicolle Aug 29, 2013

    Make sure to look on Craig's list, etc. as well! It seems like there's been quite a few pup-nappings lately (http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2013/08/stolen-dogs-have-you-seen-them/) and I've read several stories about people actually finding their dogs up for sale or being given away on Craig's list! (http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2013/08/puppy-missing-for-two-months-reunited-with-owners/). From the article, Sophie has to be at least nine, but in the picture, she looks like a puppy. They may have thought they could get money for her. It's bad enough breaking into someone's house, but people who take pets are just in a completely different class of people :( Please update us if you find her!!

  • computer trainer Aug 29, 2013

    I hope that she was microchipped. Hope that she is found SOON!!!