Good news came to Angela Lavergne and her dog Moxxii on Tuesday night after the specialized search-and-rescue dog harness that had been stolen from Pet-A-Palooza over the weekend, was found.
After days of public outreach and social media posts, the vest was turned into Victoria police Tuesday from a citizen living in the downtown core.
“Oh my God, it was awesome,” Lavergne says, adding that police brought it by her house around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night. “When he pulled the harness out, I just about fell to my knees.”
With the harness, police also found Moxxii’s training jacket, which is covered in patches from all the provinces she and her human have worked in.
“I didn’t even realize that was missing, I was absolutely floored,” Lavergne says, adding that one of the patches was from the HMCS Calgary, a ship that, as it turned out, one of the police officers had sailed on himself.
Lavergne was extremely grateful for the work that everyone had done to make the harness very recognizable.
“With all the work everyone did, the item was too hot to have in their hands,” she says. “And I think fact that it belonged to a search-and-rescue dog also helped.”
Lavergne and Moxxii will be heading out for training soon, and while the old vest will be kept, Moxxii seems to really like a new vest that was donated by an anonymously via Cerebus K9 Solutions. Lavergene says she will remove the patches from the old vest, which is a bit worn out, and use the new one primarily.
Victoria police say no charges were laid in relation to the theft, and that so far none of the other stolen items have been turned in.