A woman and her dog were reunited on Wednesday after her SUV was stolen from outside her Fort Worth apartment.
Makenzie Koch said he loaded his dog Riggins and a few things into his Chevrolet Tahoe and left the vehicle briefly to lock its front door.
When she turned, the coach said, she said she saw a man going into the driver’s seat of her SUV. He said he screamed and tried to stop her, but he walked onto the sidewalk leaving both his dog and his phone with no way to prompt him to call for help.
Koch said it didn’t take long for his phone to be found on the ground near the TCU campus. She said she decided to try using social media to help her find her missing dog.
Over the next 18 hours, she said she continued searching for Riggins with no luck. While taking a quick break at home to eat and change into new clothes, Koch began to get emotional.
Five minutes after making himself back, he said he received a call from an unknown number that turned out to be a Grand Prairie police officer asking if he had a dog named Riggins.
The coach said she fell to her knees and started crying when police told her they were watching both her dog and her SUV.
Coach’s friend Megan, who prompted her to meet the police and take her dog into custody, recorded a video of the reunion which was later shared on Instagram.
During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, police said they found the dog and the SUV after they called about an unclaimed vehicle.
Officers Gray and Monroe were dispatched to the scene and informed that the vehicle had been stolen. Officers arrived at the location and confirmed that the vehicle was unclaimed, was running, and was unlocked. When they opened the door they found that the air conditioner was on full swing and there was a dog inside.
“Shortly after clearing it up, ol’ Riggins made himself known by chopping his head here,” Gray said. Gave Ken some french fries, so he was fine after that.”
Police said the vehicle was apparently there with the engine running for several hours.
Instead of turning the dog over to animal control, he called Mackenzie’s phone number listed on the Riggins collar.
“The right thing to do at the time was to try to get her dog along with the vehicle, specifically, get back to her as soon as possible. I actually went to animal control to pick her up. Didn’t look good to come or anything like that,” Gray said. “It was the right thing to do.”
Coach thanked members of the Fort Worth community, some said he didn’t even know, who supported him with phone calls, hanging up the “missing dog” passengers and helping him search for Riggins.
“I went in thinking that all of humanity was terrible and that there were no good people to think that there are really great people in the world,” Koch said Thursday afternoon.
No one has been arrested in connection with the vehicle theft.