Tampa man's stolen dog last link to family

TAMPA, Fla. - Few things in this world are as important to Dax McGannon as his dogs. 

That's why the loss of one of them cuts especially deep.

"I've never had anything stolen from me," McGannon said. 

"Y'know, you get close to animals like that and you don't realize it until they're gone."

McGannon last saw his dog named Poochie in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart on North Dale Mabry Highway. 

He left the animal inside his black Chevy Tahoe as he ran inside to buy dog food. 

When he came out, his SUV was gone.

Stolen, with Poochie still inside.

It was a devastating moment for McGannon, who immediately remembered the promise he made to protect the dog. 

Poochie belonged to McGannon's grandfather, who lost his battle with cancer two years ago.

"Right before he died, he asked me to take care of her," McGannon said. 

"I've lost most of my family in the last few years and these two dogs are about the closest thing I got."

McGannon is now posting flyers with the dog's pictures, hoping it will generate leads. 

He's hoping whoever took his SUV and Poochie will at least return the animal.

"If they could just drop the dog off, I won't call the cops," McGannon said.  "I just need that dog back!"

Crimestoppers is now offering a reward for information leading to Poochie's safe return. 

Anyone with any information is asked to call 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).

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