Iowa Herder's Dogs Stolen in the Heartland
By: CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, Mo. - An Iowa man pleads for your help after his visit to the Heartland goes horribly wrong.
How would you feel if you watched someone steal your pet?
Bob Vest says he feels lost after someone stole not one, but three dogs in Cape Girardeau County.
He's a herder who travels around the country teaching dog clinics.
Wednesday night, he left his dogs inside a special crate in the back of his truck at a hotel in Fruitland.
He came back out, just in time to see someone driving off with his truck and his dogs.
"My dogs are me. That's my whole life. All I could think was my dogs. You can buy a new truck, but you can't buy new dogs, not the ones you've had your life," Vest said.
Bob breeds and trains dogs to herd sheep, and has used Blue, Freckles and Jenny in his work for as long as he can remember.
But the three Australian Shepherds are more than Bob's work partners. He says they're also his best buds.
"Who's going to feed them this morning? Who's going to let them out and walk them? Who's going to make sure they have water? Who's going to brush them and play with them?" he asked.
Bob's friend, Mark Buckmaster, also saw the thief speed off.
"He noticed me yelling and waving, and the light changed, and the car in front moved around, and he went on the Interstate going south," Buckmaster said.
Now Buckmaster and his wife want to do their part to help.
They printed off posters, offering a reward to anyone who helps bring Bob's dogs back.
Bob Vest plans on carrying on his training clinic through Sunday.
In the meantime, he appeals to the truck thief to have a heart.
"Leave my dogs someplace. Let me know where they are. Don't turn them out and say survive. They don't deserve that," he said.
There is a $2,500 reward to anyone with information leading to the safe return of Bob's dogs, no questions asked.
Bob says his truck alone's worth more than $40,000.