Maggie is a beloved chocolate lab, who keeps her owner Nick Ford company at Cental R.V. in Ottawa, Kansas. “She just opens up the door with her nose, goes over to the gas station and moseys around and puts on the sad face and gets food from people,” Ford told WDAF.
However, Maggie didn’t come inside on the evening of March 3. “When it was dark, I definitely knew something had gone wrong,” Ford said
After obtaining surveillance footage from nearby businesses, Ford discovered that Maggie vanished after walking behind the gas station. Shortly thereafter, an RV pulled out of the same area. “You can clearly see the vehicle come in and out of there and it’s a one of a kind vehicle,” Ford said.
After Ford called the police, he offered $3,000 for Maggie’s return on social media and his plight touched the hearts of many; the 4-year-old daughter of one of Ford’s coworkers made a drawing for Maggie.
Eventually, Ford got a phone call from someone claiming they found Maggie in Texas and demanded Ford drive there to retrieve her and hand over the cash. “Nothing was adding up that she was telling me, I just played stupid that I just wanted my dog back and I didn’t care what the details were,” Ford said.
Ford drove 14 hours to Galveston, Texas, to meet with the suspected dognappers. “I say, 'before I pay you, could you take a look at this,' and I pulled out of my backpack full of the multiple Facebook accounts, along with the surveillance video of the vehicle that really stole Maggie, and the one that he’s driving right now, and it was like a deer in headlights,” Ford said.
Ford paid part of the money and brought home Maggie five days after she was taken, but he was sure to write down the license plate of the alleged dognappers, who haven’t been apprehended.
Crimes like this are not uncommon, Hillary Prim, AKC spokeswoman, told People Magazine. Prim said these crimes are usually driven by economic factors and advises having dogs microchipped.