SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – A dog owner is desperate to find his French bulldog after he was forcibly stolen in San Francisco. The man was visiting from Humboldt when a group of strangers forcibly took the dog.
Reid Grotewold is heartbroken but hopeful that getting the word out will help bring his beloved Benjamin home. His “Frenchie” is a service animal, and he considers it to be like family.
“Benjamin doesn’t leave by side. He’s a service animal so he flies with me, drives with me and he doesn’t leave my side, so that’s all he knows,” Grotewold said.
What was supposed to be a week of fun has turned into a nearly month-long search for Benjamin. Grotewold says Benjamin was hanging out of a backpack while walking to the bus stop on August 11 when a group of people approached them.
“They had a backpack, they had their hands in there gesturing that they had a gun in the backpack,” he described. “Trying to take the dog by fear and by force. Someone came from behind me and took my dog.”
Grotewold says the group fled the area. He chased after them, searching neighboring streets, but they were gone.
“Definitely very scary for someone to take my French bulldog. He’s family to me, he’s my son,” he said.
Grotewold says he immediately called police, but it’s been more than three weeks and Benjamin is still missing. However, Grotewold is not giving up. He says he has spent every day since pouring everything he has into searching for his dog.
“I’ve been going nonstop 24 hours a day, very little sleep. Making my rounds. Posting pictures. Using online resources. So the public knows Benjamin has a home and he’s wanted back with his family,” he said.
Thieves are known to target French bulldogs because they can sell for thousands of dollars. Grotewold says Benjamin gets separation anxiety so he’s probably antsy and barking.
“He’s super vocal… loud. He doesn’t know how to exist without me. We need each other, both,” he said.
Grotewold says he’s not leaving the city until he finds his dog.
“It’s very hard to go home without Benjamin. I’m not able to do that at the moment. I’m doing everything I can and I won’t be able to rest until I can have put every effort forward that I have,” he said.
Grotewold says there haven’t been any updates from police. If you recognize Benjamin or see him out somewhere you are advised to call San Francisco police, or you can call Grotewold at (415) 724-6426.