Surveillance footage of the puppy thief and a picture of the puppy (Photo: Pet Food Express)

LAFAYETTE (CBS SF) — A $2,500 reward is being offered for the return of a puppy stolen from a Lafayette pet store over the weekend.

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A surveillance photo was released by Pet Food Express of a woman suspected of taking the female Chihuahua-mix puppy on Saturday afternoon.

The woman is described as about 20 years old, with a tattoo on her right hand and a nose ring, according to a release from the store.

The puppy was taken between 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday from the Pet Food Express in Lafayette on Mt. Diablo Boulevard.

“My gut tells me that someone that’s going to steal an animal, is probably not the right home for the them. Quite honestly, this just makes me mad,” said Michael Levy, founder and co-owner of Pet Food Express.

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Levy put up the $2,500 reward to get the puppy, a four-month-old chihuahua mix named Iris, safely back to the rescue so she can be placed in a forever home.

“I was in the middle of an adoption and a lady came in and asked about Iris. I looked and saw that she was holding Iris and I said, ‘You have to put her back in her play pen and I’ll help you in a minute,'” explained Julie Bainbridge of animal rescue Jelly’s Place.

Minutes later, when the other adoption was done, she said, “I looked down and Iris was gone–where’s Iris? So we thought maybe she was just walking around the store with her. She wasn’t here. We searched outside and she wasn’t there.”


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