Jackson man says dog was stolen right in front of him, pleads for his return


UPDATE: A Jackson man says his dog was returned to him after WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News​ aired his heart-wrenching story. See the updated story here.

Original story:

JACKSON, Tenn. — “That was my life partner, man,” said Michael West about his Staffordshire Terrier, Church.

West says words can’t describe how he feels after losing Church, who has been there to support him after losing his dad last August.

“When my dad passed, I went a bit crazy,” West said. “It’s like he took on all the bad energy. It’s like he took a lot of it away. It put a burden on him, but he did that for me.”

West never imagined he could move on before he got Church.

“I wasn’t looking for another dog,” West said. He had lost his dog of 11 years, Goddi, an American Bulldog and Staffordshire Terrier mix, on March 4.

“I didn’t intend on getting another dog,” West said. “I saw a litter of my friend’s puppies, and I seen that one out of nine, and I knew it was him before his eyes even opened.”

But his life changed again on Thursday, March 15, while stopping by a gas station near Carriage House Drive. That’s when the unimaginable happened.

West says he was approached by a man who he describes as tall and thin with strawberry blond hair in a hunter green Mazda Miata.

“Church you know was friendly, saying ‘hey’ to him pretty much, you know, walked to the car with him,” West said. “First thing the guy did was open the passenger side door and just let him in.”

He says the man then took off with Church in the car.

West says Church is like family and that he is not looking to press charges. He said all he wants is Church to be back home.

“People have been so understanding and really great to me,” West said. “Even though most of those people think it’s just a dog and think I’m crazy, but it’s not just a dog.”

West says Church was wearing a blue sweater the night he was stolen.

Anyone with information on the man or Church’s whereabouts is asked to contact local law enforcement.

Categories: Local News, News