Roughly 2 million pets are stolen each year. But only the cruelest of thieves breaks into a senior living facility to steal a registered therapy dog from an elderly man suffering from depression.
“Yoda is my family,” the French bulldog’s owner, Gary Kroll, told WPMI. “I’m single, live alone. I have two sisters, but they are all out of town and so it’s basically just me and Yoda.”
But the thief tore Kroll’s family apart when s/he broke into the elderly man’s Mobile, Alabama, apartment while he was napping. “It’s scary, you know if somebody can come in that easy. You just don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Kroll, who woke up to find both his wallet and his therapy dog were missing.
Sadly, Yoda isn’t the only French Bulldog stolen of late. In early 2021, two of singer Lady Gaga’s French Bulldogs were stolen at gunpoint, revealing the lengths some people will go to steal this popular and expensive breed. Sadly, French Bulldogs are frequently targets for dog thieves.
Unlike Lady Gaga’s dogwalker, who was critically wounded during the burglary, Kroll wasn’t physically injured — but the elderly man is suffering from a broken heart. Not only was Yoda a beloved family member, the French Bulldog playing a critical role in helping Kroll manage his depression.
“I want them to bring my dog home. Yoda is not just a dog that’s my son,” said Kroll, who got Yoda 4 years ago after his previous dog, Tank, was hit and killed by a car.
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Thankfully, Kroll’s friends have rallied to help the elderly man find his stolen dog, from hanging stolen dog fliers around Kroll’s assisted living facility in downtown Mobile to posting about Yoda on Facebook. They’ve even raised a $2000 reward for information leading to the dog’s safe return.
This is Yoda!!!! He was stolen 2 nights ago from my very good friend, Gary Kroll, but i call him PawPaw. This isn't just…
“This is Yoda!!!! He was stolen 2 nights ago from my very good friend, Gary Kroll, but i call him PawPaw,” one of those friends, Jessica Niven, wrote on Facebook. “This isn’t just a dog, this little guy is like PawPaws son.”
Thankfully, Yoda’s story also has a happy ending. According to WKRG News 5, the stolen dog was found in the stairwell by a maintenance worker, signaling his dog-napper may have had a change of heart. Thanks to everyone who helped us share Yoda’s story!
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