UPDATE: Missing GR Dog Possibly Held for ‘Ransom’ Back Home Safe
UPDATE: Wood TV 8 reports that Cookie has been found and reunited with her owners! She was found at about half a mile away from home by employees at Grand Rapids Transmission on Kalamazoo Avenue. It’s unclear if the person who had Cookie and left the threatening message released her, or if the message was part of a scam.
Cookie, a 1-year-old Australian silky terrier has been missing from the Alger Heights neighborhood since Saturday. Her owners say they got an alarming voicemail Tuesday from someone claiming to have the dog, demanding money.
Wood TV 8 reports that Cookie was last seen Saturday on Hoyt Street SE near Nelson Avenue. The dog's owners, Norma Sarabia and Raul Mendez have been sick with worry since their dog's disappearance.
Cookie and the couple's other dog, Goliath, were out in the yard on May 25th, when they escaped under a fence. Goliath was brought back by a neighbor, but they were not able to locate Cookie.
Mendez and Sarabia combed the neighborhood, looking for Cookie. They put up signs and posted to social media, but didn't hear anything about their missing pet until the voicemail Tuesday morning.
A woman claimed to have Cookie, saying she wanted to be "reimbursed for room and board and all money and time I've spent on this dog, or I'm going to have to sell her."
She ended the voicemail saying, "Take this message to heart I'm dead serious."
The call came from a blocked number, and the woman left no contact information.
The family says they aware this might be a scam, but just for now are taking it seriously.
Sarabia told Wood TV 8, "I just miss Cookie. We just want her home. I just feel like she's with not a very nice person, if it's someone who will just keep her like this."
They did contact police, but GRPD was not investigating as of Thursday afternoon, Wood TV 8 reports.
Sarabia and Mendez ask anyone who may have information about Cookie to please call 517-442-8190.