TAMPA, Fla. - Deputies in Hillsborough County say when a thief stole a car from a parking lot in Tampa, a seven-year-old pug named Guido was taken, too.
The vehicle was stolen from the parking lot of Dibbs Commercial Center on North Dale Mabry Street around 8:30 a.m. on May 29.
Deputies say Guido was sleeping in the car with the windows open while his owner, Donald Murray, 69, was nearby, cleaning the parking lot. Murray said that he and Guido were near each other 24 hours a day, even while he worked.
In a split second, Murray says a white male suspect with short hair and numerous tattoos got into his 1997 black Dodge Stratus, turned the keys which were in the ignition, and drove away.
"May 29th, the end of my life as I used to know it," Murray said. "I was a happy man. It came to a very abrupt ending. I tried to chase to him down and I came so close and as we all know, what a difference a few seconds can make."
The car was found the next day, on May 30, in St. Petersburg, but Guido was nowhere to be found.
Dogs may be man's best friend. But, to Murray, Guido was family.
"He is my playmate, he is my companion, my teacher, he's just a million different things," Murray said.
Murray has hung fliers, lost weight and is starting to lose hope. He's hoping that whoever has his Guido, whether connected to the crime or not, will do the right thing.
"I would ask him to show a semblance of humanity, just a little shred," Murray said.
Deputies hope someone who has seen Guido will come forward.
Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $3,000 for his return.
Anyone with information can call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200 or to be eligible for a cash reward, Crime Stoppers: 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).