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Reward offered in dognapping case
Dachshund taken from Fourth Street Sunday morning
Lost dog
This dachshund was stolen Sunday morning from Fourth Street outside of Lus bar. A reward is being offered to have it returned to its rightful owner, Darren Barton. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

It took minutes for friends of a downtown bar employee to donate $1,000 for a reward for the return of his beloved dog which was snatched on Sunday.

The dark brown and reddish dachshund belonging to Darren Barton was out of his owner's view for a moment on the sidewalk on Fourth Street near Lu's Fourth Street bar and picked up by a Hispanic family, said friend Joe Jenkins. The theft took place between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. The dog had a collar and dog tags. A witness clearly saw a father with small kids in a silver-colored dually pickup direct his kids to grab the dog before they fled.

"It was an outright theft and it was witnessed," said Jenkins. "This little dog was his life. He loves this dog to death. It's killing him right now that he doesn't have his dog. This is his baby. He doesn't have kids. He doesn't have a wife. He doesn't have a girlfriend. This is his life so he's crushed."

Barton, who works as a maintenance and repairman at the bar, is worried for the dog since it has health issues that require regular medicine.

"Because the victim is such a good person and many us witnessed his love for his companion, we quickly put together a $1,000, no questions, for a reward. He just wants the dog back."

Jenkins did not want to reveal the dog's name out of fear that whoever has him will want to calm him and gain its confidence.

No police report was filed. Anyone who has the dog can return it for a no-questions-asked reward of $1,000 by calling (209) 602-0100.