WASHINGTON – When Eric Peterson got home last Thursday, he found his house ransacked and many of his electronics stolen.
But his concern wasn’t for those. His heart sunk when he didn’t see his 2-year-old cockapoo, a cocker spaniel and poodle mix, Margo.
“The first thing that I did was run up stairs to make sure the dog was OK and, unfortunately, the dog was gone.”
Peterson called the Metropolitan Police Department who arrived in minutes. But once they left, it really hit him.
“I phoned it all in and then called some friends of mine and basically fell to pieces and Friday was about the worst day ever,” said Peterson.
“She’s a sweet, little 20-pound animal, wouldn’t hurt anybody unless you’re a soft plushy toy, in which case she’s got it out for you.”
Soon, the neighborhood was covered in missing dog photos, but Peterson says his friends started a digital search for his pal.
“Friends of mine were all over social media, putting this dog’s photos on so many sites.”
While Peterson was worried Margo was scared or mistreated, he had a theory.
“The fact that she was taken with her food and her leash and a lot of her toys told me that she was with someone that at least wanted to keep her healthy.”
Since Margo had a microchip, Peterson felt confident she’d be found eventually. But the big question was when.
“Anybody who owns a dog knows that it’s enough of a violation for someone to come into your house, but for someone to take your companion is is kind of behind the pale.”
Then, 48 hours after Margo disappears, a tip came into police.
After responding to the apartment of 19-year-old Reshawn Devonta Peay, police found electronics and a dog.
An officer called Peterson and, after verifying Margo’s name, gave him the good news.
Peterson says “getting a call from the police that they had a dog sitting next to them that they were pretty sure was mine was about the best thing ever.”
“She looked a little nervous and a little scared and soon as she saw me the tail started going.”
He says he is thankful to the tipster and to D.C. police.
“They did such amazing work.”
Police found a lot of his stuff but Petersons says, “I have the dog back and that is the most important thing.”
Peay was arrested and charged with second degree burglary for burglaries in Northeast D.C. dating back to Dec. 3, 2013.
Follow @WTOP on Twitter.
A look at the winter weather news in the D.C. area.
Browse through photos of the event and festivities in New York City.