Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:43 AM EDT2014-08-20 09:43:48 GMT
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Pet flipping is when a dog or puppy gets stolen and the thief turns around and sells it to make a quick buck. It is somewhat tough to prove but one woman says it happened to her at Waimea Bay.
Leo is an American Eskimo mix rescue dog from the Hawaiian Humane Society who stole the heart of his owner, but now he himself has been taken.
"I am 100 percent positive someone stole him. There is no way my dog first of all would get off the leash," said Alexandra, Leo's owner. "It's like losing a family member. You become so close to them you create this bond with them."
She says it happened at Waimea Bay last Saturday at dusk.
"We swam out to the ocean. We were out there for a little while. We come back and he was gone."
The leash and bags he was tied to were there, but Leo was nowhere to be seen. In her search for him she says she's met others that told her similar stories. One was of a man who had his dog held ransom by a homeless man.
"He said I'm going to keep your dog unless you give me $500 so he had to pay. He had the option of going to the cops or paying so I guess he found it better to pay the money and get his dog back," said Alexandra.
There is also a case of three German shepherds stolen from the Big Island weeks ago. Search Craigslist and there are dozens of lost dogs. It's unknown for sure if they are stolen but dog flipping concerns are there. Even the Hawaiian Humane Society had people who adopted a Pomeranian sign a waiver that they wouldn't turn around and sell it for more.
Alexandra has put up flyers and gone to social media to help. Leo is also micro chipped so she's holding out hope a vet will call her.
Leo was also the mascot of San Lorenzo Bikini's where Alexandra works.
"He attracts a lot of attention. All the girls love him," said Alexandra.
Now she's hoping the all the attention will help bring him home.
There is a $500 no questions asked reward for Leo. If you have information you can call 808-927-5682 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org