Toronto

Stolen van with 16 dogs inside found

Toronto police said a dog-walker's van that was stolen with 16 pets inside has been found.

All dogs accounted for and 'in good health'

Sixteen dogs were reunited with their owners Friday night after rail workers found a dog-walker's van that had been stolen in the morning. (Mark Bochsler/CBC)

There was a lot of laughter and tail-wagging in downtown Toronto on Friday night after a dog-walker's van that was stolen with 16 pets inside was found.

All of the dogs were accounted for and in good health, police said.

Owners like Vanessa Tsotsos, who raced to the east-end parking lot where the van was found, were thrilled to be reunited with their pets so quickly.

A stolen van with 16 dogs inside has been found after an all-day search in Toronto 0:49

"What's going on, buddy? Did you have an adventure?" she asked her dog, Luca, who leaped up to lick her face.

"Oh, man, this is such a great feeling," she told reporters who were recording the happy reunion. "My heart is whole again."

Tsotsos said she was optimistic the dogs would be OK but couldn't help but panic as she wondered where her buddy was. The ordeal proved that Torontonians — who quickly shared the news of the missing dogs, with some even mobilizing search teams — love their animals, she said.

All 16 dogs were found unharmed and in good spirits. (Submitted by owners of dogs)

After her interview, during which an unfazed Luca enjoyed a pee, Tsotsos raced over to thank the rail workers who found the dogs.  

"Those guys are awesome," she said.

Suspect still at large

The van, which was last seen just after 11 a.m. parked outside a downtown condo building, was found around 8 p.m., about 4.5 kilometres away, near 200 Queen's Quay East. 

Police cordoned off the van and also handed out kibble.

The van is owned by dog-walking company Soulmutts.  

Owner Alison Fodero said one of her employees was picking up a dog at 215 Fort York Boulevard, near Bathurst Street, when the van was stolen.

Police released a description of a suspect, but he has not been apprehended at this time.