Owner reunited with dog stolen in car theft near Yorkville
Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto
Published Monday, May 14, 2018 6:06PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 14, 2018 7:22PM EDT
A dog owner was reunited with his best friend Monday after someone stole his car from a street in Yorkville on Mother’s Day, with the pet still inside.
Around 4 p.m. on Sunday, 31-year-old Daniel Borok stopped at a shop on Avenue Road and Tranby Avenue to get some flowers for his mother. He had his nine-year-old miniature poodle-shih tzu mix Charlie in the passenger seat.
When Borok returned to his parking spot 10 minutes later, his van was gone. And so was Charlie. In its place was a commercial van.
“When I got out here and I see this other guy parked here, I thought ‘well maybe I didn’t park here,’” Borok told CTV News Toronto. “I walked back up a bit and I’m like no I wasn’t that close. I walked down a bit and I wasn’t that far.”
Borok asked the driver if there was a white van in the parking spot. He responded by saying yes, but it drove away.
“At that moment my heart completely sunk.”
Borok’s car keys are usually on a long lanyard and he said it often gets caught in a door or falls out of his pocket. He believes that someone found the keys and stole his van.
“At that moment I was freaking out,” he said. “Who steals a van with a dog inside of it?”
Borok called both Toronto Animal Services and Toronto Traffic Services, but there was no information about his van or Charlie.
Monday morning, with the dog still missing, Borok’s only concern was getting his pet back. He spoke to CTV News Toronto, calling Charlie incredibly friendly and loyal.
“I raised him from when he was eight weeks old,” he said. “He is getting older, but you wouldn’t know if from his personality. He is the best dog I’ve ever had.”
“I just want my dog back. I miss him terribly. It’s been nearly 24 hours. I don’t care about the car. That’s what insurance is for. It’s just a work van,” he said.
“All I care about is the dog. Everything else you can replace.”
As Borok was speaking with CTV News Toronto, he received a phone call from Toronto Animal Services East. Someone had found Charlie wandering the streets near Victoria Park and Danforth avenues. His tags had been removed, so the passerby kept him for the night and called animal services the following day.
Charlie was waiting for Borok in the kennel. When the pair were finally reunited, Charlie couldn’t stop leaning against his owner. He was shaking, but otherwise unharmed.
“I’m really happy. I can’t imagine what he went through and what he is feeling,” he said. “I’m overjoyed.”
Sue Shearstone, supervisor of Toronto Animal Services East, said she was able to contact Borok within half an hour of Charlie being dropped off at the shelter. She said the shelter is able to reunite about 70 per cent of dogs that are brought in, but it is rewarding to have such a quick success story.
“I think it’s awesome,” she said. “That’s why we are all here. We know the stress of our pets away from our owners. It’s fantastic.”
Borok plans on making one more stop before taking Charlie home – to get him a few bones to celebrate.
Borok's van has still not been recovered.