By Jennifer Kastner. CREATED Nov 7, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The Las Vegas community is coming forward to donate reward money to the family of Buddy, a special needs therapy dog that Action News first reported on this Wednesday night.
Buddy's family says he was stolen in early October from their neighborhood near East Tropicana Avenue and Boulder Highway. Buddy got loose from the family's backyard fence. A neighbor saw a man on the street grab the dog and drive off, says the family.
Since then, his owner, 11-year-old McKayla Cruise, has been battling nightmares. The chihuahua-mix was brought into her life to help her open up socially. McKayla was born premature with fetal alcohol syndrome. After being raised in abusive foster care homes, her grandmother, Deana Cruise, adopted her.
The family had wanted to offer up a reward for the dog, but tells us it has fallen on hard times. On Thursday night, locals with big hearts gathered together to donate reward money to the family.
Deana tells Action News, "This just amazes me. It really does. I appreciate the help."
Donor Linda James is the owner of the valley's Belleza Chapel, which is known for hosting weddings for dogs. She almost lost her own dog, Monte, and wanted to help McKayla's family after watching our story. She tells us, "My heart broke. I [was watching] a little girl missing her baby, I know that somebody is going to bring Buddy home."
Deana adds, "Maybe [this reward money] will change somebody's heart and bring him home."
So far, $500 in reward money has been donated.
The family says Buddy was last seen wearing a red collar, but without a tag.
Anyone with information can contact the family at (702) 526-5839 or (702) 682-2677.