Owners of eight 3-week-old stolen golden retrievers say if
puppies aren’t returned soon they could die; offering $100
Hollister – Eight 3-week-old golden retriever puppies stolen from a Hollister home during a Tuesday afternoon burglary could die if not returned to their mother soon, and their owners are pleading with the dognappers to return the pups as soon as possible.

The thieves, who broke into the southeast Hollister home in broad daylight, left behind a pipe used to smoke methamphetamine, and the owners worry the dogs may be sold to support a drug habit.

When Angelica Munoz and her daughter, Marlene, returned home to their residence on Clearview Drive shortly after 3pm, they discovered someone had broken into their home and taken the purebred puppies out of the garage, ransacked their home and taken every piece of 16-year-old Marlene’s clothing. The dog’s mother, Delilah, was locked in the backyard.

Also stolen was an eight-week-old Siamese kitten the family had recently received as a gift, Munoz said. Munoz found the methamphetamine pipe in her bedroom, she said.

After realizing what happened, Munoz immediately called police, turned over the drug paraphernalia and listed the items stolen from the home.

While she’s shaken up over the burglary, she’s more concerned about the life of the puppies. Munoz, along with Jose Prieto, the owner of Delilah’s mate, Mr. Macho, are offering a reward of $100 per puppy for their safe return.

“We just want the puppies back – just drop them off at the door, we don’t care,” Munoz said. “The mom was going crazy last night looking for them.”

One of Munoz’s neighbors told her they saw a white van parked in front of the residence some time between noon and 1:30pm, however they didn’t see who was driving it.

Prieto believes someone who knew the purebred dogs, which range in value from $500 to $650 a piece, were inside the home and broke in hoping to sell them to support a drug habit, based on the drug paraphernalia left at the scene.

“These people aren’t going to pay money to take care of these puppies,” Prieto said. “They’re going to sell them.”

But even if sold into in a good home, if the puppies aren’t fed special puppy formula either with a syringe or a bottle, they could die.

Mina Ward, a registered veterinary technician with the Hollister Veterinary Clinic, said there’s a definite chance the puppies won’t make it if they’re not returned to their mother within the next couple of weeks. Usually, puppies are required to stay with their mother until they’re at least 5 weeks old, she said.

If they’re fed regular milk or water, it will give them diarrhea and they could die from dehydration. There’s also the possibility they will refuse to drink from a bottle or syringe and die of starvation, or if they do eat and are not mature enough to go to the bathroom without stimulation from their mother, they could get extremely bloated and die from toxic shock, she said.

And while the puppies’ mother ostensibly misses her babies, Delilah is incredibly engorged with milk without eight little mouths to drain it, Munoz said.

“She’ll be very uncomfortable and moody because it gets really sore, but you can’t do anything,” Ward said. “They need to get them back on her and fast, because when she starts to dry up it will be gone fast. If it’s a couple of days they should do just fine.”

Anyone with information about the burglary may contact the Hollister Police Department at (831) 636-4330, or call Jose Prieto, one of the owner’s of the puppies, at (831) 261-2878.

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