ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – What began as a scary theft for travelers, ended as a happy reunion.
A man and his wife were traveling through Albuquerque when he said thieves stole his trailer with his four dogs locked inside. “I have grandsons that think the world of them and so do my wife and I,” said Larry Mills.
Larry Mills, his wife and four hunting dogs were driving back from Arizona to their Colorado home on Thursday.
They turned in for the night at the Comfort Inn near I-25 and Alameda in Albuquerque.
“Last night, 9:30 or so, I went out to feed the dogs and I exercised them and put them back in the kennels about 10,” Mills said.
The retired teacher then went up to his room and went to sleep. He woke up around 5:30 a.m. to check on his dogs. “I looked out the window heading down the stairs and my trailer was not on my pickup,” he said.
Mills said thieves swiped the trailer with his dogs sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning.
But thanks to some Albuquerque residents, Mills is back with his pups. After KRQE News 13 aired the story, neighbors near Carlisle and Montgomery recognized the trailer and called police. After that, they called the news station, before the 5:30 newscast had even ended.
Neighbors, like the Houston family, said they saw the trailer as early as 7 a.m. However, they didn’t know what it was or who it belonged to. But they figured it out when they saw the story air at 5:30.
“My wife Dolores goes, ‘I’ve seen that trailer’, and I said, ‘are you sure that’s it’, and she was absolutely sure and she was right, said Michael Houston.
When Mills got the news, he couldn’t believe it.
“I was shaking and my wife was starting to cry,” said Mills.
Mills and his wife were reunited with the dogs, who were thirsty and hungry, but otherwise okay. Mills has raised English Pointers since the 1970’s.
“They’re not just hunting dogs, they are our family,” he said.
The trailer was also found and it had minimal damage. It does not appear that the suspects were able to get inside and nothing was missing, including the hunting guns stored inside it.
The owners said they were shocked and overjoyed. They had planned to leave Saturday and did not think they would get their dogs back.
Mills said the couple plans on returning to Albuquerque despite this experience and that they are grateful people helped them get their dogs back.
“It restores a lot of faith in the people when stuff like this happens,” said Mills.