Two men stole six American Bulldog puppies that were bred to help hearing-impaired people. The owner, who is hearing-impaired, left the puppies inside her car as she stepped inside an animal hospital for a few minutes to pay a bill. Three of the puppies have been found; the thieves remained on the loose. Tena Ezzeddine reports from Highland Park for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013.
Dognappers were caught on video grabbing six puppies out of the back seat of a woman's car last week while she paid a bill at a Southern California animal hospital.
The 6-week-old American bulldog puppies were bred to be service dogs for the disabled. The owner is a hearing-impaired woman.
The theft also puts the dogs' health at risk - the puppies were still too young to be separated from their mother, whose milk they need for nourishment and immunity.
The owner, Ryan Fingerle, said the puppies' mother has been visibly upset.
"She mopes around the house ... looking for puppies," she said.
The video shows a man walking through a parking lot in Highland Park and stopping suddenly as he peers into the car window. He looks around, walks off and returns with a friend.
The man opens the car's unlocked rear door and they ran off with a dog bed and all of the pups on it.
A witness reported seeing the men throw some of the puppies over a fence. That led to the recovery of three of the puppies.
The puppies were worth an estimated $1,000 each.
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