$80,000 in stolen dogs happened to a breeder in Miami New Year's Eve. Owner Marcelo Cicuta was out celebrating the new year, but came home only to find his top bred French Bulldog and two litters of puppies gone.
Reuters reports Jan. 3 that the dog Westminster award-winning dog is El Che -- named after Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. The animal had won various awards at Westminster in 2010 and at the French Bulldog Club of America National Specialty Show in 2009.
El Che and 15 other puppies between 16 and 27 days old were stolen. Although $80,000 worth of dogs were stolen, another litter of five puppies and two older female dogs were still home.
Police believe that thieves used a pillowcase to get the dogs out. The stolen dogs were likely meant big money to the thieves.
"Breeders do a lot of research of pedigrees to look at ancestors and their traits," American Kennel Club spokeswoman Lisa Peterson said on Friday. "These criminals figure they'll steal these dogs, sell them below market value, and make a quick buck."
According to the American Kennel Club, one French Bulldog can sell for $2,500. It is the third most commonly stolen breed in the U.S.
This is a terrible crime to happen to any dog because they are being taken from a safe environment they know and going somewhere they should not. The owner in this case is seeing $80,000 in stolen dogs ripped away from him unless the animals can somehow be recovered. El Che is valued at $50,000 and his offspring puppies at $30,000.