Heartbroken owner reports stolen Yorki

-  A heartbroken pet owner is pleading with the person who took her dog to bring her back. She is worried the dog was targeted for her coveted breed.

"Bella," a 7-year-old Yorkie, was last seen sitting in the front yard of her home on Indian Rocks Road South in St Pete early Saturday afternoon. She wondered out of the backyard.

"The side gate was open, so she went out the side gate," said Amanda Richie, Bella's owner who was not home at the time.

Bella's owners said she is an indoor dog that has never stepped foot outside of her yard.

"I don't know her to go run away. If I'm with Bella, I know that I can step away from the backyard for like five seconds, and she will not be over in the neighbors," said Alison Richie.

According to a neighbor across the street, a woman in an older model gold sedan drove by the home and spotted Bella in front of the house. She pulled over next to a stop sign a few houses down and called Bella to her.

"She put her in her arm, got her in the car and drove off with her," said Amanda Richie.

The family realized a short time later that Bella was missing. They said it seems odd that a good Samaritan would leave with their dog without ever knocking on the front door. Four cars were in the driveway at the time.

Richie said she is concerned that Bella may have been stolen. A purebred Yorkie could sell for an average of $1,200-1,500 with AKC registration.

The expensive breed has been targeted locally in the past.

In January, a man walked out of the "All About Puppies" pet store in Largo with a Yorkie puppy stuffed in his sweater.

Less than a month later, a Yorkie named "Toby" was taken from his owner's home in Lakeland by a group of burglars.

"My biggest concern is she's not going to be returned to her family. Will she stop eating? Will she be safe?" questioned Richie.

Bella's collar was removed hours earlier for a brushing. She is not micro-chipped. Her family is hopeful that the person who took her will drop her off at a local animal shelter or bring her back home to her family.

"No questions asked. She can put her in a box and put her on the door step, but she's been our baby. We've had her since she was little, and she needs to come home so she can cuddle with us," said Richie.

Local humane societies urge all pet owners to microchip their animals and make sure their contact information linked to the chip is current.

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