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Greenville woman reunited with stolen dog after nearly a year - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Greenville woman reunited with stolen dog after nearly a year

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

They’re at it again.

Scam artists earn your trust, steal your pets and then sell them. Many of them are never to be seen or heard from again.

It’s a disturbing trend called “Pet Flipping” and it could be happening right in your backyard.

Ashley Oakley, of Greenville, was reunited with her dog, Bruizer, after nearly a near.

"I guess maybe I was naïve and didn't think that things like this went on,” said Oakley.

When Oakley gave birth to her first son, Brody, she decided she needed some help.

"He's just a very hyper Dane. He's very excited and he likes to jump really high, so much that he would always hit his head on the ceiling fans and stuff like that, so we were very nervous,” she said.

Oakley found a lady in Ayden who agreed to take Bruizer until her baby had time to adjust. When Oakley called to check in on Bruizer, the number had changed. The lady she knew as “Kim” was actually a scam artist on the run. Just a few weeks later she found her dog for sale on Craigslist.

"I contacted the number several times only to get my phone number blocked,” said Oakley.

It’s not the first time this has happened in Eastern North Carolina. Warrants are out for James Randall Whitten after he posed as a dog trainer, stole and then sold dozens of dogs across several different counties. Just a few months ago, someone stole several dogs from backyards in Pitt County.

"Although the theft of a dog is a felony in North Carolina, I can understand it's not top on the priority for law enforcement. They're just so overworked with other crimes,” said Private Eyes investigator, Patty Richardson.

Oakley couldn’t afford a private investigator and Bruizer wasn’t micro-chipped but he did have distinct markings and two different colored eyes.

Ashley made a Facebook page called “Find Bruizer” and hundreds of dog lovers from all different states pulled through.

"A lady in South Carolina called me and said I think I found your dog,” said Oakley.

After eight long months, three states and multiple homes, Ashley finally found her dog with a loving family. He was 20 pounds underweight and had scars from possible abuse.

"Children and other people can communicate. He will never be able to communicate what he went through and the pain and that makes it even harder for me,” said Oakley.

The mission to find Bruizer is over. Now the mission to seek justice begins.

"We want him to be able to feel like he's okay but that's something that they took from Bruizer. That's something that I'm not willing to let go"

Oakley is working with authorities to identify and press charges against the woman who stole her dog. If you have any information you can contact Oakley directly here:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/FIND-Bruizer/633446240029320

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