PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Kinsey Lawrence says she’s been waiting for her dog, Athena, to come home since she was taken on June 3.
“We’d love to believe she’s alive, but we don’t,” Lawrence said.
She’s one of many dog owners in Portland’s Lents neighborhood on high alert thanks to a disturbing trend that’s left many without their furry friends.
“This is like an epidemic,” she said about the spike in dog thefts in the neighborhood.
Aside from Athena, there’s Blue whose photo is plastered on nearly every light pole in the neighborhood. Bella, a Bullmastiff, was captured on surveillance video as she was stolen from the Fred Meyer store on SE 82nd Avenue and Foster Road.
She reportedly returned home on Tuesday.
Google and Sully were stolen and later found at a homeless camp near SE 102nd Avenue and Foster Road. And there’s even more reports of missing dogs circulating on social media.
So, just where are these dogs going?
Lawrence says she’s confident all signs point to the Springwater Corridor and those who call it home. Some of those living on the trail tell KOIN 6 News it’s not uncommon for other homeless people to ask them if they know where to find a dog.
When asked if transients living along the corridor are to blame, police previously said it was a tough call.
Officers didn’t respond to KOIN 6 News’ request for a comment on Tuesday.
Lawrence says she hopes no one else has to go through what she has.
“It’s been overwhelming,” she said. “I want my neighborhood to be safe and if you can’t be respectful of the people here I want them to leave.”