Puppy allegedly stolen from former homeless North Okanagan man

Community rallying to help get Winnie back

The community of Lumby is rallying to find a puppy that was allegedly stolen from a former homeless man.

Winnie, a four-month-old German shepherd was taken from Barry Christian’s home the evening of Wednesday, March 27.

“I’ve got him (Christian) here right now, he’s crying really badly,” said Stacey Romanyshyn, a friend who got Christian the dog a few months ago.

“He had lost his last dog, Barney, to cancer, who he had since he was a six week old puppy,” she said of the reason she got him a new dog.

“He was really depressed, down in the dumps and homeless at the time,” said Romanyshyn, adding that Christian’s dad had also recently died.

Born and raised in Lumby, many people in the village know Christian, who suffers from a disability.

“He doesn’t have very much, he’s a harmless soul,” said Romanyshyn, who owns a business in Lumby.

That’s how Christian was helped to afford the new dog.

“Everybody in the whole community got together, people had paid for the dog to have all of his vet checkups. He’s actually due here to be spayed April 2.”

It is alleged that a woman took Winnie from where Christian was staying Wednesday night.

“This lady in town thought that he shouldn’t have the dog, walked into his house and took the dog,” said Romanyshyn. “She is now withholding the dog.”

See: Golden retriever stolen from backyard

Christian has been to the RCMP, but was told that the woman claims she bought the dog. He was also advised that this is a civil matter and must go to court.

RCMP made no comment to the media and The Morning Star has reached out to the woman who allegedly took the dog, but has not heard a response.

Friends in the community have also attempted to contact the women, to no avail.

“I have people calling and messaging me as we are speaking offering me money to go pay this lady to get the dog back,” said Romanyshyn, who is hopeful this appeal will prompt her to give Winnie back to the heart broken Christian.

“This puppy is a big part of the community.”


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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Barry Christian, of Lumby, was gifted a puppy a few months ago, but the pup has since been stolen. (Submitted Photo)

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