Toronto

Princess the service dog reunited with owner after being stolen on weekend

Princess the service dog has been returned to her owner after she was stolen by a man and a woman who have not yet been arrested.

Owner of Teacup Chihuahua said to be relieved after dog found wandering in west end

Princess, the teacup Chihuahua stolen from the Bloor and Ossington avenues area. (Toronto Police Service)

Princess the service dog has been returned to her owner after she was stolen by a man and a woman who have not yet been arrested. 

The dog, a Teacup Chihuahua, was stolen while owner Ashley-Victoria Martineau was inside a McDonald's restaurant at Bloor Street West and Ossington Avenue around 2 a.m. on Sunday.

The small, six-pound pup was attached to the restaurant's entrance ramp while Martineau ran in to purchase a coffee.  When she came out no more than ten minutes later, Princess was gone, her leash left hanging on the ramp.

Three and a half hours later, two residents out for an early morning bike ride in the area of King Street and Strachan Avenue noticed the dog wandering outside their home. 

"They brought the dog inside and they called Toronto Animal Services," Det. Kristy Smith, of Toronto Police Service's 14 Division, said Monday.

The two were not aware Princess was missing at the time, and when they did, they arranged for the police to pick her up and reunite Princess with her very relieved owner. 

Martineau has said she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and relies on Princess for her mental wellbeing. The dog is a registered service dog.

Police say thieves seen on security video

Det. Smith says she believes the two thieves knew the jig was up and abandoned the pup in the area of another busy intersection. 

"We believe they are aware that the police are after them," Smith said.

Witnesses in the area tried to intervene before the thieves ran off with the dog.

"There was reportedly people trying to get the dog back from them," she said.

​Smith said there also is a lesson learned for anyone with a registered service dog: service animals don't need to be left outside as they are permitted inside restaurants. 

The man and woman who were spotted by witnesses and on the McDonald's security video will face theft charges once they are caught. 

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