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Remaining stolen show dogs found in Victorville [Updated]

December 2, 2010 | 10:45 am

Akitas The remaining two of four show dogs stolen from outside a Bellflower motel have been found, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said Thursday.

Secondakita The four show dogs -- two Akitas and two Pembroke Welsh corgis -- vanished Tuesday when someone stole the 2006 Chevrolet Express van they had spent the night in outside a Bellflower Motel 6, authorities said.

Two of the canines were recovered Wednesday afternoon, and the remaining two were found late Wednesday evening, said to Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“The good news is that the dogs are fine,” said Whitmore. “They are in good condition. They have been returned to their rightful owners.”

Whitmore declined to say precisely where the dogs were found, in what neighborhood, and the circumstances surrounding their discovery.

“There is an investigation going on. We don’t want to say,” Whitmore said. “We are following leads.”

The dogs owners, Kristina Rickard and David Peek, could not be reached for comment Thursday. They were reunited with their two Akitas at a county-run animal shelter in Downey on Wednesday afternoon.

[For the record, 12:58 p.m.: A previous version stated incorrectly that the dogs were found in Compton, but Whitmore said later they were found in Victorville. The headline of this post was changed to reflect the new information.

Whitmore said the dogs were found because of all the media coverage.

“Everybody saw and read the coverage," he said. "The people who had the dogs or saw the dogs called us. The victim went out last night and got the dogs. The dogs were in good shape.]

The Akitas -- Trace, a 3-year-old male, and Didi, a 10-month-old female -- were unharmed, authorities said.

But Bunny and Peter, the corgis Rickard and Peek planned to show at area competitions this week on behalf of the dogs' Japanese owners, remained missing until their discovering late Wednesday.

Peek and Rickard, who live in Redding, are in town for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach this weekend, where they planned to show Trace. The other dogs were expected to compete in other competitions scheduled in the days before the AKC/Eukanuba show, Peek told The Times on Wednesday.

Southern California is one stop on the couple's nearly month-long tour of dog shows. On Monday night, Peek and Rickard checked into the motel. They often stay in motels and park their van right outside their room window. They brought three other dogs -- a Boxer puppy, a Parson Russell terrier and a Brittany -- which stayed with them in the motel room.

But they left the thick-furred Akitas and corgis in the van where it would be cooler. They opened the windows a bit, so the dogs could get fresh air.

Peek and Rickard reported the van stolen at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Peek had said they would offer a reward to anyone who could lead them to the corgis, which are implanted with microchips to identify them.

It was unclear Thursday whether a reward would be given.


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Photos: Clockwise from left are Akita Trace, corgi Peter, corgi Bunny and Akita Didi. Credit: Tamara Houser