ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque family says the person who found their lost dog held it captive until they paid up.
Scruffy, white fur and a wagging tail, Beethoven is a happy pup. The Morrisons got him ten years ago, but feared they would never see him again after getting a call last Tuesday from someone who’d found him and checked his tags.
“My wife called them back and said we can meet you anytime to pick up our dog, and she asked, ‘how much is it worth to you?,’” said Bob Morrison.
The demand shocked them.
Morrison said, “I understand a little kid, a teenager, to reward them, to encourage that behavior, but for an adult to actually say we want a reward for your dog was very disheartening.”
Beethoven had been picked up a couple blocks from his house and brought to a home in a neighborhood off second street. An ordeal that started just two hours after Beethoven got loose lasted nearly two days.
“For my son, not having his dog for two days, he’s been sleeping with this dog for ten years. Not having somebody there was kinda rough on him”, said Morrison.
They turned to Animal Protection New Mexico. An employee there worked with police using the captors’ cell phone number to ping their location. After obtaining the location, the Morrison family set out to get their dog.
The people with the dog wanted a $100 ransom. After a tense discussion they handed Beethoven over for nothing, but the couple gave them the money anyway to avoid trouble.
Morrison said, “We just left, actually. I threw the money on the driveway, said, ‘you just take it because I don’t want any problem.'”
KRQE News 13 asked a District Attorney in New Mexico what charges someone can face for holding a lost dog for ransom. He said they can face extortion and theft because it is illegal to keep something that you know doesn’t belong to you.
The family says they won’t be perusing any further action against the captors in hopes of never interacting with them again.