$80,000 stolen dogs: Missing French bulldogs worth a bundle

Two litters of French bulldog puppies worth $80,000 were stolen from a Miami breeder's home on New Year's Eve. French bulldogs are one of the most commonly stolen breeds in the US, though they are worth less without proper pedigree papers.

Mary Altaffer/AP
Tate, a 2-year-old French bulldog from Pennsburg, Pa., waits to compete in the wings during the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, In February, 2010 in New York. On New Year's Eve two litters of French bulldog puppies worth $80,000 were stolen in Miami.

A Miami man returned from a New Year's Eve celebration to find his prize French bulldog and two litters of puppies, valued at $80,000, stolen from his home, police said.

The missing dogs include El Che, who is named after Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and won awards at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 2010 and the French Bulldog Club of America National Specialty Show in 2009, according to owner Marcelo Cicuta.

While Cicuta was ringing in the new year at a friend's kennel, thieves broke into his house and likely used a pillowcase to carry the dogs away, police said.

The 15 stolen puppies are 16 and 27 days old, Cicuta said on Friday. A third litter of five puppies and two older female dogs were left behind.

French bulldogs - the third-most commonly stolen breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club - can fetch up to $2,500 each.

The police report valued El Che at $50,000 and his offspring puppies at $30,000. But the dogs' worth is far lower without papers proving their pedigree, the kennel club said.

"Breeders do a lot of research of pedigrees to look at ancestors and their traits," American Kennel Club spokeswoman Lisa Peterson said on Friday. "These criminals figure they'll steal these dogs, sell them below market value, and make a quick buck." 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.