(Joe Marusak/Charlotte Observer) - A puppy being trained as a companion dog for a terminally ill 5-year-old was stolen from the girl's home during a burglary in Burlington, North Carolina, and police and her family are pleading for information that will lead to its safe return.
"Annabella May" is an 11-week-old American Bully that was taken from the 5-year-old's home on Saturday, police posted on Facebook.
"She is in training to be a companion dog for a special little girl," police posted.
The post has been shared 1,600 times since Wednesday.
"She makes me feel comfortable inside," the girl, Dakaia Gray, told WGHP. "I really miss Annabella. That was my only dog."
Dakaia has brain cancer, the station reported.
Folks on social media offered prayers for Annabella's safe return.
"Dear God. What is wrong w people?" Dianne Emory Cates commented on the police Facebook post. "So sorry. Praying thief will be caught and puppy returned."
Others reacted angrily.
"I'd hunt you down," posted Rhonda Robinson Hatch. "Surrender the dog, do the right thing."
"That thief needs an introduction to two unfriendly Rottweilers and two angry, hungry Pitt-bulls at the same time," Ruth Wade posted.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Burlington Police Department at 336-229-3500. To remain anonymous, call Alamance County-Wide Crimestoppers at 336-229-7100 or text 8398 to 274637.