HOUSTON - French bulldogs are an increasingly popular target for thieves. In Houston, a local breeder is offering a hefty reward for his missing pregnant pooch. He's hoping to find her before her disappearance turns deadly.
Christian Rawlins of Goldmine Kennels is a cousin of mine and a breeder of French bulldogs. His most popular pooch is named "Gizmo" who has a line of "Best in Show" trophies.
"I don’t cut any corners. I work full-time, and I do this full-time, so I pretty much give this everything I’ve got," says Rawlins.
One of his favorites, a cream Frenchie called "Bunny", was staying with a friend when he got the disturbing news that she had been taken from the apartment located in Spring Branch.
"I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what to do," he says after calling Friday in distress.
"Her daughter came home and was asking ‘where is the dog’ because the door was open and the dog was not inside the house," says Rawlins.
His worry has been growing by the hour. Bunny is pregnant for the first time and due any day now. With Frenchies, an unplanned delivery can be fatal.
"She will die if these puppies decide to come out. They can try to come out any moment. These dogs have to have C-sections. Their body is too narrow to push out puppies," he explains.
"I’ve put in the work to educate myself- it’s just so much that an inexperienced person will not know to do."
Worth thousands and easy to snatch, thefts of the top five popular breed are becoming more common and more violent. Lady Gaga's dog walker was recently attacked over her pups, and in Houston, there have been break-ins and one couple was held at gunpoint for their cash canine.
"It’s evil people out there people snatching dogs from hard-working people," adds Rawlins. "They just want a nice dog and can’t even walk down the street without [it] getting snatched."
He says Bunny and her litter are years of hard work and research, so he's offering a hefty $50,000 reward for information that leads to a healthy mom and healthy pups back home.
"The dog can and most likely will die without being in my hands. I can’t stress that enough. The dog will die; the puppies will die. I don’t think the person who stole the dog wants to see that," he says.
He says any information about Bunny’s disappearance can be sent to instagram.com/goldminekennels.