STOLEN: Family dog taken by self-proclaimed Dog Rescuer.

Author: Tyler DeStefano

“I am afforded the right to speak, by the Constitution of the United States. This is the same document that guarantees my liberty. “Liberty,” in case you’ve forgotten, is a soul’s right to breathe. When it cannot take a long breath, laws are girded too tight. Without liberty, man is a syncope.” – Will Hunting


John Bartlett holds a sign of his Yellow Lab, “Jake” with the word “STOLEN” on top.

I was driving home from lunch on a typical Saturday afternoon. When I noticed a man holding this sign. I decided to pull over and hear his story.

It was a windy day late March in Suffolk County when John Bartlett’s fence was blown open and his family pet Jake stumbled off into his neighborhood. John spent weeks posting flyers all over town looking for his handsome Yellow Labrador Retriever. John had almost given up hope that he would ever see his beloved family pet again, when suddenly someone contacted him. “We found your dog!”

John was ecstatic! “Thank you so much, where can I find him”

They responded, “A woman in our neighborhood said she was a dog rescuer, she took the dog in for you.”

But when John went to the (currently unnamed) Jane Doe’s* house to get his K9 friend, Jane* proclaimed she was never able to actually get the dog. That she had gone in her home to grab a leash and when she came out the dog had taken off. Despite an entire neighborhood of eyewitnesses that handed the dog off to her. Not only did they see Jane take the dog in, but saw the dog going for trips in Jane’s car for several days after. The suspicious lady asked John, “Do you have any kids?” John responded “What does that have to do with anything?”

At first John accepted the story. But when approached several days later by the neighbors who originally found Jake, they asked, “How’s your dog doing?” John told them what Jane had said. “Their jaws literally dropped”, John said when I interviewed him. “They couldn’t believe what they were hearing” “One of the neighbors covered her daughters ears and whispered to me”, “THAT’S BULLSHIT. I SAW THAT WOMAN TAKE THAT DOG. WE GAVE HER THAT DOG UNDER THE AUSPICIOUS THAT SHE WAS A DOG RESCUER LIKE SHE CLAIMED SHE WAS.”

With numerous eyewitnesses and accusers. John returned to Jane’s house with a humble offering, “I Don’t care if you took him or what you did with him. I just want him back and you’ll never hear from me again.” It was then that Jane’s husband came out and felt it was appropriate to be physically intimidating with his body language. The husband also proceeded to inquire about John’s family, “Do you have any kids?”. John grew suspicious to this particular line of questioning he kept being asked. It was then he realized that Jane and her husband may have given the dog to another family… one with kids, and in an attempt to wash away their own guilt they ask if he had kids to justify and validate the criminal activity they’ve engaged in. And for the record, not that it’s even relevant, John does have a son. What’s right is right, the dog belongs with his family.

John decided it was time to call the police. He gathered up all of Jane’s accusers so they could give their eyewitness report of what happened to Jake. When officers arrived they took his story, and then went to the woman’s house to get her story. Suddenly her story had changed to “I never even saw the dog, I have no idea what you’re talking about”  They returned, and without interviewing any of the neighbors who were ready and willing, they told him the all too familiar statement. “Sorry there’s nothing we can do, her word against yours.” John asked, “What about all these people. They saw Jane take the dog.” They responded with the same thing, “There’s nothing we can do, her word against yours.”

John has since received emails, messages, and phone calls from neighbors with information, eyewitness reports, and plenty of opinions on their heartless neighbor. Many have claimed the woman has always been crazy. In the past people like John Barlett would never see justice. But thanks to technology and the internet, the tables have turned. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of seeing stories like this. This world is turning into garbage can. It’s time we stand up for people like John, it’s in our town, our neighborhood, our streets. Not anymore! John is going public with his story and told me he won’t stop fighting until he gets Jake back, and we won’t stop either.

You can stay updated on Jake’s Rescue on The Hampton Bayz Dog Rescue Facebook Page.




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