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‘I’m going to find her’

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | August 15, 2020 1:09 AM

Dog theft leaves woman in tears and family shaken

COEUR d’ALENE — It was just a minute or so that Teresa Richardson turned away from the small dog in her shopping cart at Goodwill on Friday afternoon.

When she looked again, Gi, a 2.7-pound Chorkie and beloved family pet, was gone.

“She’s like my daughter,” a crying Richardson told The Press during a phone call. “She’s everything. To me, she’s a child.”

Gi, 1½ years old, was apparently snatched out of the cart, quickly placed in another, and a woman walked out of the store with her, said her owner, Dustin Kloos of Coeur d’Alene.

He said a Goodwill manager said video footage showed what happened, and police were called.

His wife and their children love Gi, he added.

“I’m just hoping we get her back is all,” he said. “I hope she’s OK.”

Richardson, of Coeur d’Alene, is Kloos’ mother. She often spends time with Gi and the two share a strong bond.

“Gi loves my mom,” Dustin said.

“If she ran to anybody, it would be me,” Richardson said.

Richardson and Gi had been at Goodwill about 20 minutes when she stopped to try on clothes. She said the cart was just a few feet away and Gi was in the cart’s purse holding area near the handle.

“I turned around and she was gone,” Richardson said between sobs. “It was so quick, not even a minute.”

With the help of others, she began a frantic search around the store, under clothing racks, thinking somehow Gi must have jumped down and wandered off.

But Gi was nowhere.

Richardson’s fears were confirmed that Gi was gone.

As the minutes passed, Richardson became more anxious. She talked to Goodwill employees, and said they told her video footage showed a woman leaving with Gi.

A Goodwill manager confirmed the dog theft report with The Press on Friday.

Richardson said police reviewed the video footage inside and outside the store and told her it showed a woman leaving in dark-colored SUV, perhaps a Ford Explorer, with the dog.

Gi is a mix between a Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier, referred to as a Chorkie, Richardson believes she is worth about $700 and may have been taken because of her value.

She said Gi is friendly, well-mannered and attracts attention.

“Everybody notices her,” she said. “She’s so cute, she’s a doll.”

A shaken Richardson said the theft has left her heartbroken.

“I can’t believe it,” she said. “It hurts. I wonder what she’s doing right now with strangers.”

“You know, it’s not right,” she added. “It’s going to destroy the family. Our family loves her.”

Kloos said his wife, Irene, bought Gi last year at an area pet store. They named her after Irene’s mom, Gigi, who passed away after a battle with cancer.

“There’s that closeness there,” Kloos said.

He said the theft is upsetting. He wonders if it was a one-time, random incident motivated by money, or someone who wanted a dog like Gi, saw an opportunity to take her, and did.

“My mind is consumed with that,” he said.

Richardson said she’ll find Gi. She plans to spread the word about the theft and asks that whoever took her, give her back.

“I’m going to find her. If I have to walk around town with signs and big pictures of her,” she said. “I’m going to do whatever it takes.”