Animal rescue workers turn detective overnight to find three dogs that were still missing after being stolen

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 18:41:57-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — You could hear the emotion in the voices of Robin Honkanen and Jennifer Moore as they went into the abandoned building where they heard the loud barks of Titus, a Great Pyrenees, who was stolen from an animal rescue shelter early Wednesday with three other dogs.

Jennifer and Robin, who work at the shelter for Make A Difference Rescue, turned detective overnight to find Titus, Jaxon, and Holly.

Rescue workers and volunteers carefully reviewed the surveillance video and noticed that the intruders who broke in early Wednesday morning, left with Titus on foot first and then returned to get the other dogs. The intruders were gone about 20 minutes.

Knowing Titus, Robin and Jennifer figured the crooks would only have been able to walk about 7 minutes, then take another several minutes to tie Titus up before returning to the shelter.

And their hunch paid off. Robin and Jennifer used Google Maps to determine their search area.

The women were exhausted but didn't quit. And then they heard an unmistakable sound.

It was big Titus. After caring for him for so long, Robin and Jennifer knew his bark. And it was loud.

"We heard him bark far away and we kept driving and then shutting the car off and listening because it was very quiet," Jennifer said.

The women followed the barking and Robin said she could feel it in her heart. It was definitely Titus.

They called their director, Judi Jones, and Detroit Police to enter the building.

Officers arrived quickly to find the three dogs barricaded into three different rooms of the old abandoned apartment building.

Jaxon was curled up on a dirty grocery bag.

The women thanked the officers and they returned to the shelter which is home for all of them until they can find their forever homes.

The workers and volunteers for the rescue wonder why anyone wanted to target them in the first place.

"Why break in here?" said Jennifer. "These are hurt animals that have been through hell. And, you know, we're trying to find them homes. Shame on you."

Related: Man pleads for safe return of emotional support dog stolen with car at gas station