ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As the sun was setting near Crescent Lake in downtown St. Pete, Jessica Keller and her pet Chihuahua Clementine were out for a stroll. That’s when a white van approached.
A woman, who was with two men, shouted out.
“She asked if my dog was for sale,” says Jessica, who heard dogs crying in the back of the van, which she says had no license plate.
“My stomach was sick for sure,” says Jessica, “and all I could think was they’re not getting my dog.”
She ran to her house to call police. As she looked out the window, the woman in the van taunted her with a flashlight.
Jessica posted the incident on the Nextdoor app. Neighbors responded immediately, some saying they’d seen the van. Others promised to be more watchful of their pets, double-checking locked gates.
Asking if your dog is for sale is not a crime, say St. Pete Police, who added that there have been no recent reports of dog theft, which is rare. But they added pet owners should always be watchful of their furry friends.
“I’m not going to let it ruin things,” says Jessica, “but I’m definitely going to be more cautious.”