PORTER RANCH—To Miranda Cole, Sunny is not just a pet–she is a member of the family. Since she went missing last year, Miranda and her family have been searching tirelessly to locate their dog, through social media, fliers, and posters.
Sunny is the emotional support assistant dog for Miranda’s teenage son. She is described as a female spayed Chihuahua mix, with big pointed ears that either stand up or fold back on her head. Her tail is curly and curls up and over her bottom. She is mostly gold, though her underside, from under her chin to her bottom to underneath her tail, is cream. She is about 14 inches tall and 15 pounds, and has a cherry eye, which is a prolapsed gland of the eyelid.
On February 3, 2016, after Miranda had dropped off her son at his school bus stop, she went to the Walmart in Porter Ranch to get dog food and flea medicine for Sunny. As it was a cool day, about 60 degrees outside, she left the dog in the car with the window open to about eight inches. When she returned to the car, no longer than 10 minutes later, she discovered that Sunny was gone.
“When I came out of the store and didn’t see her in any of the windows, I knew she was gone. Sunny was always in one of the windows looking for her humans,” Miranda said in a pamphlet she released about Sunny. “I began frantically screaming her name in the parking lot and looking around at the cars in the parking lot.”
When she called the police, an officer told her he couldn’t do anything for her, because it was “just a dog.” She filed a stolen property report at the Devonshire division, as dogs are considered property in California.
“She wasn’t property to us—she was family,” Miranda said.
A theft detective contacted her several days later and reviewed the surveillance footage from Walmart, but the footage did not reveal anything. The same day Sunny was stolen, Miranda printed fliers and posted them around the shopping center’s parking lot. But the property management company patrolling the lot began pulling the fliers down, even after they agreed to allow Miranda to put them up. Miranda was permitted to put up big, bright posters of Sunny around the perimeter of Shepherd of the Hills Church, across the street from the shopping center. The posters were also placed at a number of intersections around the San Fernando Valley.
“Sunny is about 7 years old,” Miranda said in an email to Canyon News. “She doesn’t bark a lot and I’ve never heard her growl, but she does grunt. We had her a little over 5 years, and they were 5 wonderful years. My 16-year-old son has anger issues and Sunny’s presence somehow always calmed him.”
Miranda and her family have sent out fliers to veterinarian clinics, groomers, pet stores, animal shelters, and animal rescues in Los Angeles and Ventura County. In addition, they have continued to post about Sunny on Facebook pages and lost and found pets’ websites.
“We miss her terribly,” Miranda said. “She made our family complete.”
A $3,800 reward is being offered for Sunny’s return, with no questions asked. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any information.