Four months after a show dog was stolen in Memphis with the car she was inside, police arrested the man responsible. Sadly for her mom, the dog is still missing.
Oakley the English Cocker Spaniel’s disappearance serves as a sad reminder that car thieves don’t care about the dogs inside or the people they’re hurting when they abscond with more than property.
More Than Just Property Theft
Megan McCoy, Oakley’s mom, isn’t even from Memphis. She and her dog were on their way home after Oakley competed in the North American Diving Dogs National Showcase in Missouri when the car and dog were stolen.
They briefly stopped at a Chipotle, and McCoy locked the car doors while going inside. When she came out, the car was gone along with Oakley.
After four months of agonizing over her poor dog’s whereabouts, police found the thief and McCoy’s stolen car, but not Oakley. In February 2022, the Memphis Police Multi-Agency Gang Unit (MGU) arrested several gang members related to a series of auto thefts. They confirmed that 22-year-old Demarcus Humphrey was the man responsible for the October 2021 theft that led to the disappearance of Oakley.
Obviously, a missing family member is the more important thing than a hunk of metal. McCoy is not giving up on finding Oakley, even if police can’t.
McCoy lives eight hours away from Memphis, but she said she’s appreciated the dog-loving community’s help. People have posted all over the internet, hoping someone recognizes Oakley’s face.
“As many bad people as I’ve encountered in Memphis, I’ve encountered twice as many good. The dog community as a whole has just been wonderful.”
Still, every day her dog is missing hurts more.
“It’s been very difficult. My dogs are like my kids. I don’t have kids of my own; I just have my dogs.”
Oakley’s Whereabouts Are Still Unknown
McCoy said she really believes Oakley “is in somebody’s possession.” Though her car has been recovered, she wonders why police can’t find more useful evidence inside it to help track her dog down.
“There was evidence found in my car after it was released to me. We turned it over to police. To me, it was kind of “why did that happen? Why wasn’t it searched more thoroughly?””
Early in 2022, McCoy hired a private investigator to help her find Oakley. She still thinks her dog will return to her eventually.
“We’re definitely not giving up on our search for Oakley. We believe she is still out there. We have no reason to believe otherwise.”
McCoy is offering a $1,000 reward for any credible information that will lead her to Oakley. The Paw Boost page for Oakley can be found here. If you see her or have any useful information, call 904-614-9925.
You can avoid a similar heartbreaking fate by never leaving your dogs in your car, even just for a moment. If you can’t bring a dog inside somewhere, leave them with another trusted person. Car thieves don’t care about your dogs.