CHICAGO - Three dogs have been returned to their owners after someone stole a doggie daycare van with them in it in Lake View Thursday afternoon.
The van was stolen around 230 p.m. in the alley behind Dogaholics along Southport Avenue.
"Our driver loaded the dogs into the back, closed the door, went to grab keys, was gone for 30 seconds, as he came out, the van was starting to drive away," said Ben Montgomery, the General Manager of Dogaholics.
The driver was taking the dogs to their owner, about 6 minutes away from the doggy daycare.
Everyone feared the worst when they learned the van was gone with Keith, a Great Dane, and Pappy and Stella, two German short-haired pointers inside.
"It’s kind of a shock and a little bit of horror," said Ron Levitt, owner of the dogs.
The van was found parked in an alley near the corner of 16th Street and Lawndale Avenue at about 10:30 p.m.
The owners picked up their their dogs and brought them home for a happy reunion.
They even let the dogs return to Dogaholics for their daily play time.
Dog owner Dr. Julie Levitt said she was relieved and grateful for the support, especially the citizen who alerted police about the van. She, her husband and two daughters were worried sick until the dogs were located.
Dogaholics manager Ben Montgomery said his staff will review safety procedures to make sure this does not happen again.
Even though the dogs had been through an ordeal and were stuck inside the van for 8 hours, there were no "accidents" inside the vehicle.