A Jacksonville woman hasn’t given up hope that a missing dog she believes was stolen can be returned.
Debra Heck, a military veteran originally from New Mexico, adopted “Foxy” from the Protecting Animal Welfare Society in Jacksonville in April 2014. Foxy is a Shiba Inu who was rescued from a puppy mill. She says Foxy was in bad shape, and was to be euthanized before being rescued.
Back in March, Heck says she let Foxy out in her large, fenced-in backyard with another pet, a hound dog. She says when she heard her hound dog barking, she came out to let them in, but saw the gate to the fence was open, and Foxy was missing.
“Many small dogs are marketable. They’re quick money for a dirtbag. I know that sounds awful, but, people buy and sell and trade dogs constantly. If you even just Google Shibas, you’ll realize they’re a very rare breed, especially in the United States. They’re a very expensive breed and a rare breed. And I truly believe that somebody went into my yard- you can see it from all sides- and I truly believe somebody passed, and grabbed her,” says Heck.
“I couldn’t go on a walk with her without somebody stopping me to inquire, what kind of dog? Where did I get her? It happens constantly. ”
Heck says she’s reached out to several Shiba rescue organizations, and says she’s gotten calls from as far as Wisconsin asking if they have the right animal.
In addition, Heck has taken to Facebook and posted flyers around town.
So far, Heck says she’s come up empty-handed.
If you have any information on Foxy, call 217-685-1816.
A police report has since been filed.