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Houston Dog Sitter Steals 2 Purebred Dogs, 1 Found


A Houston family is pleading for help finding one of their two purebred dogs stolen by a pet sitter days before New Year’s Eve, Fox26 Houston reports. 

On Dec. 22, 2023, the Nieten family turned to a popular pet sitting site — care.com — for dog sitting services, as they were traveling out of town. They needed someone to care for their three dogs until Dec. 31: two purebred Miniature Australian Shepherds, named Dux and Maxie, and their rescue dog, Belle. 

Mathew Nieten told the news outlet Maxie and Dux are “both registered dogs, and they come from a great pedigree.”

The Nietens became concerned when the dog sitter they hired failed to maintain communication, as they had previously agreed upon. 

“She said she was going to send pictures and videos every day,” Nieten stated.

Nieten further shared that after a few days, the pet-sitting website contacted him, informing him they had refunded his money since the dog sitter canceled the booking. At this point, the couple still hadn’t heard from the hired sitter. 

Alarmed by the suspicious turn of events, Nieten reached out to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to report the matter.

One purebred dog and rescue found, other dog still missing 

Nieten tried reaching out to the sitter after they returned home on New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, the outcome wasn’t exactly what they hoped for.

“We got a text from another number we didn’t know, that said we saw your number come across our daughter’s phone,” Nieten shared. According to him, the text went on to read, “She was in a really bad car wreck and is in a coma at Houston Methodist and your dogs are at yet another address.”

Upon visiting the stated address, Nieten learned the woman who lived there had no clue who the pet sitter was.  

Thankfully, the Nietens were reunited with their rescue, Bella, whom police found on Dec. 28 at a local Texas park. The good news doesn’t end there. According to a recent update shared by the news outlet, authorities were able to locate Dux, thanks to a viewer who saw news of the two missing purebred dogs on TV.

“We got a voice mail from a lady who said she had seen him on the news and that he looked like a dog that had wondered over to her house New Year’s Eve,” Nieten added.

As of now, the whereabouts of Maxie, the other purebred pup, are unknown. Nevertheless, the Nietens remain hopeful for her safe return.


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