BROWARD (CBSMiami) – An Oakland Park man is out of jail but facing additional criminal charges in the death of a stolen puppy.
Store surveillance reportedly shows Vahid McLaughlin pushing past workers and stealing an 8-month-old Pomeranian Poodle Monday at the Petland store off University in Pembroke Pines.
Store manager Stefani Victor said the accused puppy thief looked at one puppy then left the store before coming back a few hours later.
“He got angry the puppy (he had looked at) got a home so he asked to see another and that’s when he became possessive,” she said.
Twenty-four hours after the puppy known as Toby was stolen, McLaughlin returned the puppy with police and was arrested on grand theft charges.
“The puppy was covered in urine and his gums were white,” said Victor.
Toby was rushed to the vet’s office in the same plaza.
Office manager Terri Fleming said Toby was dehydrated and disoriented.
“He had lost a pound in 24 hours. He was happy and eating before he was taken,” she said.
Fleming said the puppy spiked a fever and died.
“It hurts all of us. It’s like a family member that passed away,” lamented Victor.
A necropsy is being done to determine how Toby died.
Victor believes McLaughlin failed to properly care for Toby.
Petland is working with police to hold McLaughlin accountable.
“The puppy passed away because of negligence,” said Victor. “We want to press charges.”