Family receives prank tips as little girl longs for puppy
Published Tuesday, December 4, 2012 6:29PM AST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 4, 2012 7:13PM AST
There is still no sign of a puppy that disappeared at a Christmas parade in New Waterford last month.
The Gouthro family is still hoping their dog Bailey will come home, but Nicole and her ten-year-old daughter Alyssa are getting tired of waiting.
“We were trying to handle this in a way, so that, mother-to-mother, we could figure out how to handle this for our kids. That obviously hasn’t been working,” says Nicole Gouthro.
The family has been receiving anonymous tips their eight-month-old Yorkshire Terrier has been taken in by a family with a son who has autism.
But Gouthro was also told the family won’t part with the pooch because their son has bonded with it.
“To break that down to an autistic child might be very hard because the child might not understand,” says area resident Melissa Gallant, who also has a child with autism.
“But maybe she should break it down softy to the child. I really think the family that found this puppy should return it.”
As news of the missing puppy quickly spread, the Gouthro family has received a lot of support from the community and online.
Some people have even offered to help by adding to the family’s $500 reward.
“I don’t want to encourage anyone to take somebody’s pet just to get a few thousand dollars, especially this time of year,” says Gouthro. “So, it’s at $2,000 right now. It will not go any higher.”
Hindering the search for their missing puppy, the family is also receiving prank calls and bogus tips.
Some people have accused one woman in the community of keeping the dog, but she has since called the Gouthro family in tears, denying the claim.
Gouthro says the drama is taking a toll on her family and she plans to file a theft complaint with police.
“If anyone comes to us with a complaint of theft, whether it’s a dog or an item, we would certainly look into it,” says Desiree Vassallo, a spokeswoman with the Cape Breton Regional Police.
“Exploring all the information available and determining whether there’s grounds to pursue an investigation.”
Gouthro says being reunited with Bailey would not only make her daughter Alyssa’s Christmas, but would allow the family to enjoy a normal holiday.
“We just want to get back to our everyday lives and get her back with us and hopefully celebrate our first Christmas together.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald
Alyssa Gouthro says the only thing she wants for Christmas is to be reunited with her puppy, Bailey.