REDDING (CBS SF) – Authorities in Northern California have recovered more than a dozen dogs that were inside a cargo van that was stolen from a fast food parking lot Wednesday afternoon.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the van was located in a wooded area near Highway 273 and Canyon road shortly before 11:00 a.m. Officers found all 14 dogs alive.READ MORE: 'He's In Good Spirits;' Former OPD Capt. Ersie Joyner Recovering After Shooting; Remains in ICU
Redding Police said the dogs were stressed due to the heat and lack of food and water, but were otherwise fine.
The dogs were taken to Haven Humane Society to be reunited with their owners.
“I was broken down,” said Justin Shook, owner of one of the recovered dogs. “That’s my dog. Just knowing that he was gone, it broke me down.”
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Dog handler Tony Carter, hired by the owners to transport the 14 dogs from the Seattle area to Vallejo for the Woofstock Dog Show, was stopping for lunch at the In-N-Out Burger in Redding Wednesday afternoon when his white 2018 Dodge ProMaster van was stolen.
Carter left the engine running to keep the air conditioner on for the dogs and was at the restaurant for less than three minutes when the thief drove off with the van. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Redding were in the 80s at the time of the incident.
“They can get overheated on a hot day like this,” said Carter. “I don’t care about my property. I don’t care about the van. I just want the dogs back that’s all.”
The dogs that were taken included rat terriers, golden labs and Rottweilers.
Police did not specify if there were any arrests.MORE NEWS: Pfizer Scientist Testifies Against Holmes in Theranos Trial
A $30,000 reward was offered in the case. Anyone with information about the vehicle or the dogs is asked to contact the Redding Police Department at 530-225-4200.