LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. - It's a trend that has small dog owners in Livingston County holding their pups a little closer these days.
Livingston County Animal Control is receiving report after report of cuddly pets going missing.
"I would hang onto them," said Debbie Oberle, director of Livingston County Animal Control. "We have noticed a lot of small dogs going missing, it seems like there's more lately then there ever has been."
Officials say there are three likely culprits: Coyotes, people stealing pets or people picking up a dog because it's cute and simply not returning it.
"It's so hard to look at their pictures. We miss them so much," said Louise Bonskey, of Brighton Township.
While she has five other Chihuahuas to keep her company, Bonksey said two of her beloved pups have been missing since March 24.
"It was just like they disappeared," she said. "My husband let them outside like we always do, he came back in for 2 minutes like her always does and only five came back on the deck, not seven."
Oberle says the trend of stealing these small dogs is unusual but she's not surprised the designer or purebred dogs are target.
"I think they are being targeted because people know they can sell them and make decent money, they'll put the dogs on Craig list," said Oberle.
Posters for a missing Maltese, Yorkie mix, a Shitzu and Bonksey's two Chihuahuas all hang from the bulletin board inside the Animal Control Office. Bonksey and her husband have sent out a mailer to 5,000 residents and put 40 large signs in her city.
"We still have hope," said Bonskey. "But now we don't take our eyes off of them."
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