UPDATE 7/23/14 Due to the diligence and hard work of a Volusia County officer, the dog was safely returned to the boy today!
Anthony Cavallero Jr. (AJ) was just half a block away from his Deland FL home, walking his dog Red with a friend, when suddenly a silver car stopped in the middle of Taylor Road near Montgomery Street. A man jumped out and took the dog right out of the boy's hands. His dad says "He asked my boy whose dog is it and my son said it's my dog and he said no its not, its mine..."
8 month old Red was gone as quick as that... a matter of moments to devastate 7YO AJ. AJ's dad says the stranger took Red off her leash, threw her in the car and raced away..."My son is screaming hysterically thinking it was his fault..I had to calm him down a little bit cuz he blamed himself that he didn't protect the dog."
AJ learned responsibility by caring for Red since the pup was born, and was able to claim it as his own just three days ago. His dad had encouraged his son to walk Red close to home.
AJ Sr. knows the thief could have easily taken his son as well. He suspects the thief will try and breed the pit bull, sell her puppies or worse, use the animal for fighting. Unfortunately no one got a good look at the dognapper but as word spreads, the chance for her return is multiplied - and help is being offered by a local organization.
Project Paws out of Seminole County, a not-for-profit that supports animal charities, heard about what happened to young AJ and Red. They're offering a $500 reward for the safe return of the animal. If you have any information, here's their Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectPawsFL/info
Please spread the word and help get Red back to AJ!