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Pit bull puppy feared stolen found for sale online, family doesn't press charges

Pit bull puppy feared stolen found for sale online, family doesn't press charges
Pit bull puppy feared stolen found for sale online, family doesn't press charges
Q13 News / Facebook

A pit bull puppy went missing from his Everett, Washington home on Tuesday, Aug. 5 - and his family took to social media to plead for their missing dog's safe return. On Wednesday, Aug. 6, Q13 News reported that the pit bull puppy was found for sale online and has now has returned safely to his home.

The nine-week-old puppy, named Fatboy, is a Razors Edge / Gottiline pit bull who had lived with his family for one month. Gottiline pit bulls are all descendants of a dog named Notorious Juan Gotti. Razors Edge pit bulls are descendants from multiple pit bull parents who were part of a coordinated breeding program.

The young puppy, who was a gift from a family member, escaped - or was taken from - his yard on Federal Avenue in Everett, Wash. Owner Joshua Smith was stricken when he discovered that his dog was missing. “My heart was gonna stop. I was thinking, what happens if we didn’t get him back?” he stated.

Joni Gobin and her family pleaded for the pit bull's safe return, posting the puppy online and explaining that their children were heartbroken. “That’s when it started. I said my kids were devastated and it was going to be a long night," Gobin stated.

Respondents found the pit bull puppy - being advertised for sale online by a teenager. Gobin called the teenager's parents and the police.

“He would have sold my dog. He was selling him for $200," Joni stated.

Thanks to the police, a happy reunion was arranged and Fatboy is now back with his family. The dog's family chose not to press charges against the teenager.

“I don’t want to ruin this boy’s life with getting him a felony. He’s a high school kid," she said.

Joshua is just happy to have his dog again. He stated: “He’s in my arms right now and I’m very, very happy to see him."

Washington State law RCW 9A.82.050 - trafficking in stolen property in the first degree is defined as:

A person who knowingly initiates, organizes, plans, finances, directs, manages, or supervises the theft of property for sale to others, or who knowingly traffics in stolen property, is guilty of trafficking in stolen property in the first degree. Trafficking in stolen property in the first degree is a class B felony.

This is not the first case of a stolen or missing dog ending up for sale online. In 2012, a missing puppy was placed for sale on Craigslist. When confronted by police, the sellers denied ever having the puppy, but they were since charged with conspiracy, theft, and making false reports to law enforcement. In 2013, a missing dog in Indiana was discovered for sale online - even though the seller knew that the dog had a family.

Pit bulls are very popular dogs. When they are stolen or sold illegally, they often face a grim fate: many are sold for breeding or for dog fighting, either as fighters or as bait dogs.