MANCHACA, Texas (KXAN) — Koda, a four-year-old Akita believed to be stolen from his home, was found on the US/Mexico border and returned, the family reports.
Josh McCune, Koda’s owner, said he received a message late on Monday night from a man living in Del Rio, Texas, more than 200 miles southwest of Austin.
The man, who identified himself as Romeo, said he found a dog that matched Koda’s description hot and dehydrated outside of his Del Rio business.
Romeo kept Koda for three days while he searched for his owner. After seeing a viral Facebook post about Koda’s mysterious disappearance, Romeo was able to contact McCune and reunite the two.
McCune said Romeo believes whoever broke in and stole Koda from his home was attempting to smuggle Koda across the border. He said the thief likely encountered an issue when he didn’t have proper paperwork at the border and likely ditched the dog on the side of the road.
Since then, McCune has taken the necessary steps to protect both his home and his dog, including micro-chipping Koda and setting up security cameras within his house.
A Travis County investigation is underway after a family came home on Friday to find their home broken into and their dog missing.
The family said they presume “Koda,” a four-year-old Akita, has been stolen.
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they are investigating this as a burglary and breaking and entering case, but couldn’t share any additional details.
“He’s definitely a member of the family and dearly missed,” said Josh McCune, Koda’s owner.
McCune said this is the second time in a week that they had found their home broken into and their dog gone. In that initial attempt on Saturday, Sept. 14, Koda was found nearby and returned.
“The lady that found him said that there were no stickers or anything on him that looked like he had run 15 miles, so we assume he was taken there,” said Alyssia Johnson, McCune’s daughter.
“We think he got mad at the people that took him and was able to escape,” Johnson said. “We have been very cautious of locking the house this week and making sure everything was secure.”
McCune began taking extra precautions, dead-bolting his locks and shoving chairs up against the door. When Koda was gone, again, six days later with clumps of fur scattered across the floor, they said they knew someone was behind this.
“I think there was a little scuffle between them but they definitely made sure they got him the second time,” McCune said.
The family offered a number of reasons why they believe Koda is being targeted. They noted that Koda is not neutered and is a purebred Akita. They are fearful Koda is also being used for dog-fighting.
“It would have to be someone in the neighborhood who has watched my everyday activities,” McCune said. “We will continue searching until we are 100% sure that there is no rock unturned. We will continue to reach out to vet clinics and just any leads that we get, we’ll continue to search no matter what it takes.”
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office said they do not believe this is a trending crime. Anyone with information on Koda’s whereabouts should contact the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.
Tonight on KXAN News at 9 and 10 p.m., Alex Caprariello will speak to the family about the progress of the investigation.