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Abilene animal lover issues warning for dog owners of 'certain breeds'

By Anthony Domol, adomol@ktxs.com
Published On: Mar 11 2013 01:32:40 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 05 2013 07:45:53 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

One Abilene animal lover wants to put out a warning for dog owners of certain breeds.

We protect our homes, cars and valuables all from theft, but your four-legged friends may slip your mind.

Dutchess, a one-and-a-half-year-old English Bulldog, was either stolen or escaped from her yard and was then chained up to fend for herself.

"It was just a matter of four hours that my life was turned upside down," said Dutchess's owner. "I felt like I lost my daughter."

Thanks to an anonymous tip, two weeks later she is back with her family.

"I cried over every little thing. I saw her dog bowl and I was in tears and now it's just so surreal," she said.

Dutchess's owner chose not to be named.

She said she believes Dutchess was taken in hopes of being bred, since English Bulldog puppies sell for anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500.

"When I got her back I didn't know how to feel,” she said. “I should be excited, but to see her in pain and hurting it made me realize she tried so hard to get out of those chains."

Dutchess had bloodshot skin and eyes, wounds all around her neck and a bacterial infection on her stomach.

She is recovering well now and her family is overwhelmed by the support they got from the community.

But they want to warn other owners of expensive dogs to take precautions.

"Anytime she goes into the backyard she is in my sight. I even have locks on my gates. I've started not to trust anybody when it comes to a family member."

If your dog goes missing report it as soon as possible.

"It's kind of like that 48 hours show," said Paul Washburn of Rescue the Animals. "The quicker you do it, the better chance you have of getting the dog back."