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Dognapper Takes Mascot Mid-State Swimming Hole

Posted at 5:44 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 19:38:54-04

A dognapper stole a mascot from a popular, mid-state swimming hole and then left a voicemail on the victim's cell phone.

Manchester Police were investigating the bizarre case of Elvis, the Rutledge Falls mascot.

"People that come here -- there may be 30 cars parked here and it's privately owned.  My sister and I own it," said Jack Jennings.

However, Jennings said the falls really belong to his two dogs, Sweet Pea and especially Elvis, who loves to roam the property.
 
Elvis has been known to greet visitors, who are allowed to enjoy the falls free of charge with the understanding they leave it free of trash. Jennings said it is a bit of paradise, after all.

Elvis was taken from that paradise. "I knew he was stolen, but I was surprised to get a voicemail about it," said Jennings.

The dognapper, who apparently came to enjoy the falls, took Elvis then left a voicemail on Jennings' phone.

Police said they think the woman found Jennings' phone number on the dog collar and actually called him: "Hi, I would just like you to know we have taken your dog because you are obviously not taking care of him."

"That was the most cared for dog on the planet and he lived in heaven," said Jennings.

A reward sign was placed at the falls as the first thing all visitors see when they visit.

Elvis was a rescue dog. "He was about a year old and skinny and starving. I wasn't sure he was going to make it," said Jennings.

Maybe Elvis knew what awaited him if he survived -- a wooded playground in his owners backyard.

Now Jennings and Sweet Pea would love have him back.

Anyone who knows where the dog may be was asked to contact the Manchester Police Dept. and hopefully help get Elvis back to his waterfall.

Police were working to trace the call made to Jennings to track the suspect. Elvis is a black hound, and has been mirco-chipped and neutered.

A reward was also offered for information that leads to his safe return.