By Joy Bergmann
Attention concerned dog owners: There is NO known dognapper currently roaming Central Park, according to multiple NYPD sources who have refuted an alarming email blast sent out by City Vet on Friday.
On Sunday morning, Officer Ramos of NYPD’s Central Park Precinct reiterated what we heard from NYPD on Friday when we asked if NYPD had received any reports of attempted or successful dog thefts. “No,” said Officer Ramos. “We don’t have any reports of that.”
City Vet deleted all of its Facebook postings about this alleged dognapper, which included a photograph, and on Saturday afternoon sent its email list a follow-up message with the subject line “UPDATE RE: Yesterday’s Notice” that said:
“Regarding yesterday’s communication about attempted dog theft in Central Park, our intention was not to damage someone’s reputation, but to protect neighborhood dogs. The NYPD recommended spreading the word so that is what we did. We wholeheartedly apologize if the allegation is undeserved.”
The West Side Rag had several email exchanges with Dr. Andrew Kaplan, City Vet’s owner, asking about his sourcing.
“Your questions are all very good, and I would love the answers to them myself, but unfortunately I don’t have them because I am not the source,” Kaplan wrote, adding that he would not reveal his source.
Asked about NYPD’s assertion that there have been no reports of attempted dog thefts in Central Park, Kaplan wrote, “I’ve told you I have no other information. The take away from this is ‘be careful to watch your dogs’ and that has been accomplished.”
Some locals took to Facebook to defend the apparently misidentified woman and to encourage others to support her through what one called a “viral internet debacle.”
“Central Park Hug Alert!” posted Frank Burrows. “If you see this sweet lady in the park, immediately run up and give her a hug… She was totally overwhelmed and hurt when this happened, but is very appreciative of the people who are spreading the truth of her innocence. She is a sweet, wonderful person who loves dogs.”