Veterinarian Raises Alarm By Saying Woman is ‘Stealing Dogs’ in Central Park


Photo by glemak.

A local veterinarian’s office sent out a notice to clients on Friday warning them that a woman is luring dogs away from their owners in Central Park and attempting to leave the park with them. City Veterinary Care, which has an office at 220 West 72nd Street, sent an email with the headline **NOTICE**WOMAN SEEN STEALING DOGS IN CENTRAL PARK.

Editor’s Note:  The vet’s claims have been refuted by NYPD and we’ve posted an important update to this story. 

West Side Rag has reached out to the vet and the Central Park Police but has so far been unable to confirm that dogs have in fact been taken out of the park.

Sgt. Conway of the Central Park NYPD told us, “This is the first I’m hearing of it. I have nothing written here about it. I would try to talk to whoever is the person writing the email.” We attempted to talk to the vet but have not heard back.

Without that confirmation we’re not publishing the image of the alleged “dognapper.” But the text of City Vet’s email is below.

Please be aware that there is a woman that has been caught in Central Park, on more than one occasion, luring random dogs, that do not belong to her, with treats then grabbing them by the collar and attempting to leave the park with them.  A photo of the woman is attached to this email.

For what purpose she is doing this, no one knows, but we can assume that it is likely not good.  The police have been notified.  They claim that they cannot act without more occurrences.

Please be particularly observant of your dog if off-leash in Central Park and take pictures/videos if you notice anyone attempting what is described above.  Also, please spread the word to friends and other area vet hospitals so they can alert their clients.

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A.Kaplan, DVM

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 8 comments | permalink
    1. Liz says:

      I’m not sure why there is an air of “take it with a grain of a salt” around this post (although maybe that’s just me) but I heard about this woman yesterday, before the vet email was sent out. My friend’s friend had it happen to her—she was ahead of her dog, turned around to check on it and saw this woman had a makeshift leash and was trying to take the dog with her. When confronted she claimed she thought the dog was lost.
      Regardless, it’s a good heads up to keep our dogs in sight if off leash.

    2. Lynn says:

      City Vet Veterinary Care posted this item about a woman luring dogs out of the park with treats. The post included a picture of someone purported to be that woman. They subsequently removed the picture saying they found out she in fact WAS NOT THE PERSON kidnapping dogs. This is going viral and this poor person is going to be persecuted in the park. Many people know her from the park; she is an elderly woman who loves animals and is often in the park with her own two small dogs in a stroller. The damage has been done and her picture is still on many websites.
      City Vets deleted their entire post..unfortunately, their email blast is shared individually by a ton of people and on other Vet pages, like Animal General on the UWS. Even in their retraction they couldn’t get basic grammar right. It’s “wary” not “weary”.

      • stevieboy says:

        If that is true, this woman now has a legitimate lawsuit against “Dr.” Kaplan and City Veterinary Care.

        This why we have police instead of internet vigilantes. Remember that guy that got named as the Boston Bomber and was totally innocent when it turned out to be those brothers.

      • EricaC says:

        It’s an example of both the good and the bad of internet posses – you can get the word of a bad thing out (good) but misinformation can cause innocent people terrible harm (bad, obviously).

    3. Mark says:

      Disgusting if true. Be careful!

    4. YoungSally says:

      My experience with City Vet is that they are anything but alarmist

      Perhaps they received this information from an established client or one of the many rescue groups they work with. I appreciate that they shared the information – although it seems that no one thought to report this to the NYPD….or at least checked on it.

      I feel horrible for the woman in the photo as it seems there may be a misidentification. However, bringing one’s own dogs to the park does not mean that a person doesn’t have ulterior motives.

      For me, the takeaway is vigilance. The UWS is generally a very safe place for our pets – be aware of what is going on around you – but also don’t jump to conclusions.

      • DavidS says:

        My policy is to not post anything online that I can’t personally verify to be true. It’s just common sense.

    5. dannyboy says:

      Now that dog owners are paying attention to this warning, this may be a good time to remind owners of lost dogs NOT TO OFFER REWARDS. That encourages dognapping.

      (and no, this is not yet another self-serving Comment, as most accusations lodged contain. I own a cat and she stays mostly indoors [I have a very safe way for her to be safe outside]).