breaking news

Bill Cosby sentenced to at least 3 years in state prison

Florida woman's puppy stolen from car during apparent road rage incident


A woman is accused of snatching another woman's 3-month-old puppy out of her open car window Wednesday while she waited at a red light near the University of South Florida in Tampa, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

>> Read more trending news

Laura Rodriguez, 22, told police that she was driving with her sister in the passenger seat when a car cut her off in traffic as she was approaching a turning lane. At the light, a woman got out of the car and began cursing and yelling, Rodriguez told police, apparently because she wasn't driving fast enough. 

The woman then reached into a half-open window and grabbed one of the two dogs in the back seat.

"We've had puppies stolen from yards and pet stores," Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter told the Times. "but nothing else I can remember about one being taken out of a person's vehicle." 

>> RELATED: Woman finds out day too late missing dog was adopted 

Rodriguez said the 8-pound, brown Labrador retriever puppy named Bella was snatched by her leash. The other rescue dog in the back seat dropped to the floor and started barking. The car sped away, ran a red light and disappeared into the USF campus, the Times story said. Rodriguez said she tried to follow the car, which was an old gray or dark-colored sedan with a male driver, but lost it.

Rodriguez has posted photos of Bella on Facebook in hopes of finding her. "She is a very attached puppy," Rodriguez wrote on the Lost and Found Pets of Hillsborough County page. "She needs me as much as I need her."

>> RELATED: Girl's tearful plea to find missing dog answered 

Bella and her other dog were adopted when they were abandoned by their owner, Rodriguez said. She might be able to offer a reward, but she doesn't have much money, she told the Times. "I just want to have my baby back."

Anyone with information about Bella's whereabouts can call sheriff's office investigators at (813) 247-8200.

• More from the Tampa Bay Times


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Pets

WORTH THE DRIVE: Ohio Caverns are a subterranean wonderland
WORTH THE DRIVE: Ohio Caverns are a subterranean wonderland

Looking for an underground getaway? Take a trip to the Ohio Caverns, the largest known cave system in the state.  The caverns, described long ago as the place “where nature carved a fairyland,” are located in West Liberty. Here are 7 things to know about the subterranean wonderland:  Accidental discovery. The caves were accidentally...
Fire department surprises 3-year-old with birthday party after guests cancel at last minute
Fire department surprises 3-year-old with birthday party after guests cancel at last minute

The Harrisburg Fire Department in North Carolina surprised a 3-year-old with a birthday party after several of his classmates canceled Sunday.  Melissa Reid said she received several text messages the morning of her son's birthday party from parents, letting her know her son's classmates couldn't make it.  >> Need something to...
Springfield’s Rocking Horse gets $50,000 to help kids impacted by drugs
Springfield’s Rocking Horse gets $50,000 to help kids impacted by drugs

A Springfield medical health center will receive new money to help local kids who have lost a parent to drugs. CVS Health distributed a $50,000 grant to Rocking Horse Community Health Center Friday morning that will be used to help Clark County children who have been impacted the most by the opioid epidemic. The money will also go to help children...
CHEERS! The Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest mugs are a coveted collectible
CHEERS! The Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest mugs are a coveted collectible

Handcrafted mugs created by regional potters have been a sought-after collectible since Oktoberfest at the Dayton Art Institute began in the 1970s.  The earliest mug in the DAI’s collection, from 1974, is made from glass and features a printed DAI logo. In the years following the mugs were mass produced until the idea to use local potters...
What cats see when they look in the mirror
What cats see when they look in the mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Abby, our 16-year old cat, thinks she is. When Abby could no longer jump up on the kitchen counter to eat from her bowl, we searched for a place she could easily reach but Teddy, our Lab, could not. We placed the queen bee’s bowl in front of a large mirror on the master bathroom&rsquo...
More Stories