Yorkie stolen from dialysis patient's car

November 21, 2012 7:37:25 PM PST
A San Francisco man is heartbroken after someone apparently stole the little Yorkshire terrier that has been his constant companion for the past four years.

Rob Runkle's had a run of bad luck. He's on dialysis, had a hip replacement, suffers from Crohn's disease, and was just diagnosed with cancer.

Between all the doctor's visits, one of the bright spots in his life has been his service dog -- a yorkie named Lola.

"Just the most affectionate, sweetest, nicest, companion you could ever have," Runkle said.

But Lola is missing. While Runkle was getting dialysis, someone smashed the window on his Toyota truck and snatched Lola right off the seat. The thief removed her collar and took off.

"Some evil, evil person; can't imagine the type of person that would do that," Runkle said.

Runkle doesn't have any photos of Lola, but she looks just like his last yorkie, named Paul. Lola four years old, and weighs about 10 pounds.

Runkle was so distraught, he fell and cut his face while looking for her -- landing him yet another trip to the hospital.

"I thought I was in a bad dream," he said.

With no sign of Lola anywhere, Runkle's neighbors have come back to the spot she was taken at 14th and Castro street to put up signs, knock on doors and even offer a reward.

Bonnie Baron is staying optimistic.

"My hope is that someone saw something and maybe I'll even knock on a door where Lola is now living," she said.

Neighbors are offering $3,000 for the dog's safe return in what San Francisco police call a difficult and unusual case.

"A dog is kind of hard to track; it's not like other property that may come with a serial number or something like that," San Francisco Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

Lola does not have an implanted microchip, but police say they will know when they have found her.

"You can just tell; when that dog sees his owner I'm sure he's going to light up," Andraychak said.

Runkle is praying that happens soon.

"Just please return her; she means so much to me," he said.

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