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Awful News—Maru Found Dead

This is a heartbreaker. 

Studio City Senior Lead Officer Mike Lewis, from the North Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, just reported about 9 p.m. Monday night to Studio City Patch:

"I just recovered the stolen Honda Odyssey that was taken from Ventura and Whitsett with the yellow Lab inside. The vehicle was parked at Studio City Golf and Tennis and unfortunately, the dog was found deceased inside. I just got off the phone with the owner and when I told him the horrible news he was devastated. It was a tough phone call."

The 10-year-old yellow Labrador was taken when a car was stolen from in front of Kriser's pet store in Studio City on Saturday. There was an intensive doghunt all weekend, not for the car, for the dog.

The local family is devastated. Their minivan was stolen Saturday near Whitsett Avenue and Ventura Boulevard.

Nayo Mateo said his 2-year-old daughter, Lucy, has been asking what happened to her best friend, the yellow labrador that they have had since she was a puppy.

“Maru’s a family member,” Mutt Match L.A.‘s Sheilah Aragon said. 

It is unclear how Maru died, at 9:15 p.m. Animal Control was removing the dog from the car less than half a mile away at the golf course. 

Lewis said the dog was found on the driver's side of the car near the floorboards.

Lewis added, "It appears like it may have passed away—all the windows were rolled up—possibly died of heat. Not sure as of yet."

Local volunteers from Mutt Match helped search for the dog: http://www.muttmatchla.org

Lt. Todd Hankel of the Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood Station said someone tipped off that the vehicle was at the 4100 block of Whitsett Avenue at 5 p.m. Monday, and Maru was found dead inside.

When the car was stolen, Maru was asleep in the back seat of the minivan, which had its engine running and air conditioning on.

"We're holding the vehicle for prints,'' Hankel said. "We'll try to ID the suspect that way if we can find any.'' 

Anyone with information about the minivan theft was urged to contact the North Hollywood Station at 
(818) 623-4016.

The family was worried that they will never get to snuggle with their cuddly bear of a dog ever again. 

Their worst fears came true.


Also see: Family Dog Taken in Studio City Car Theft in front of Kriser's—Please Help!

In yet another animal cruelty case: 

Police Seek Suspect who Left Dog for Dead in Alley—Did You See Anything?
Yvonne Paddack Highroller Labradors August 20, 2013 at 08:54 AM
I have a 7 mo. Old yellow female I would consider donating to this family. I'm in Vegas. Www.highrollerlabradors.com. My contact info is there. Yvonne.
Yvonne Paddack Highroller Labradors August 20, 2013 at 09:00 AM
Don't make this family the criminals here! They left the dog in a seemingly safe environment, maybe carry a second key to have locked the car. It is not their fault that a predictor was waiting. I travel often with dogs...it leaves you no choice, all u can do is lock the car, leaving it running with a/c on. I see that they did nothing wrong, they are the victims here! At least they care enough to take their dog along instead of leave it alone in a backyard in the heat like a lot of losers do!
Pound Pets August 20, 2013 at 11:03 AM
And what happens if the car stalls while your in the store, Then there is no AC and the dog suffers, Dogs dont need to go everywhere that you do. LEAVE THEM HOME. This is so sad. I feel bad for the owners and especially poor Maru. RIP sweet baby, Play over the Rainbow Bridge.
Ken Swan August 20, 2013 at 11:09 AM
a lot of newer cars cannot be locked with the key in the ignition and the engine running, I know our new Mercedes is that way (annoys the better half to no end) so don't be so hard on the owners of Maru
Carol Thompson August 20, 2013 at 11:13 AM
The thieves stole the van for nothing, and the dog died for NOTHING!!..I guess because the owners were looking for the dog through facebook and news the thieves thought they better dump the car AND the dog...they could have left the windows down or phoned 911 from a pay phone to say where the left the car and dog..I hope these bastards get what's coming to them!!...although I hate to say it..the owner should have taken the dog with him..usually dogs are welcome in pets stores..or locked the car door with a spare key...OR left the dog at home because he was trying to keep the dog from being in a hot car...and its seems that this is EXACTLY the way the dog died...terrible terrible situation.
Leah August 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM
THIS STORY HAS ENDED IN THE WORST POSSIBLE WAY!!!!!! Parked at the golf course?? I am surprised that someone walking by didn't notice a dog locked in a car and call someone. I KNOW they will find the thief/murderer but unfortunately he will be charged only with car theft and not murder! I wish the laws would get stronger for anyone that abuses or kills family pets/animals. These are sick people and don't deserve the "slap on the wrist" that get!!! Poor Manu...he didn't deserve this!!
Jay August 20, 2013 at 11:42 AM
I'm from New York. You NERVER leave a car for any amount of time with the keys in it and the motor running. ANYWHERE, EVER! Especially with a dog in it. This driver has only him or herself to blame for the dog's death.
Jen August 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Why on earth didn't this guy just call his wife on her phone and tell her he was outside waiting with the dog... this is just a horrible horrible story... I live a block from the golf course and that's only 2 blocks from the theft... it disgusts me that there is a fire station right there and these as*holes couldn't even leave the van there with the windows down... what was the point of stealing the van?!?!... just to drop it of a few feet away and have this innocent creature suffer... this just kills me.
Marci August 20, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Good God people - QUIT JUDGING! These people just lost their beloved pet for crying out loud, can't you save the crappy comments for ONCE and have some compassion? "I feel so bad for the family BUT ......" Just leave the "but" out and express your condolences. They made a mistake - they have to live with it. Keep your holier than thou thoughts to yourself.
Tess Hunt August 20, 2013 at 01:47 PM
We just dealt with some car theft. Not sure if it's the same person. We have footage. I hope this helps. Please spread around and lets put away all of the bad guys. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-JpFUzIFK4
Sheri Haas August 20, 2013 at 02:09 PM
I volunteer my driveway and car, just lock these devils in and I will sell tickets to watch them die.
Autumn August 20, 2013 at 02:38 PM
This is infuriating. The crime in Studio City and Sherman Oaks is out of control. The cowards who could be so cruel....will be found.... To the criminal scum lurking in our neighborhoods: GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM Hope they aren't from here deport them back to wherever and save my tax dollars or just lock them in a hot car. Sorry but this is so upsetting.
Donna Thompson August 20, 2013 at 03:54 PM
I would like to offer this family a free of charge, well bred AKC, Shih Tzu puppy if they want it??? please contact me. donna@donnaspuppies.com
Jacquelyn M. Wolfe August 20, 2013 at 04:03 PM
F*ck! Why would someone do this?!!
Jay August 20, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Because they come from a country that does not value law. Because they look for money for drugs anyway they can get it. Because they are punks who know that thanks to our criminal justice system and the lax three strikes enforcement they will get little more than a sloap on the wrist, so there is little risk to them. Because they know the chances of being caught are almost bill. Need more reasons?
Cindi Scholefield August 20, 2013 at 04:20 PM
I feel desperate. Poor darling Maru. Granted the driver too was at fault leaving the engine running in this day and age. He should have left her in peace at home. My heart goes out to Lucy and I hope, hope, hope they catch the monsters who did this and give them the maximum punishment possible!
Steven Erskine August 20, 2013 at 04:20 PM
lets be clear here,this is all the owners fault.they should never have left the dog alone in the car in the 1st place.bloody fools.
Autumn August 20, 2013 at 04:28 PM
People stop criticizing the owners. ...WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE. ...offer help...a reward...they feel bad enough. All you critical insensitive opinionated narcissists: Don't cast stones. ... and before you judge.. how many of you leave your house with windows open and don't have alarm systems/cameras? Give your key out to people you trust... SAME DAMN THING. Your just as dumb. Be nice or don't comment.
Sheri Haas August 20, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Steven, you are a stupid toad, you bloody idiot. Go away. Let' s be clear, this is not a place for mean spirited uneducated pieces of shi# who don't know what they are talking about and can't even type legibly. Go back in the hell hole you came out of NOW, GO AWAY and stay away, you stupid fuc#.
Autumn August 20, 2013 at 07:04 PM
I'm with John....I'd like to find them and handle it....guarantee those with ideas will think twice.
Kathy Keller August 20, 2013 at 07:26 PM
This is absolutely heartbreaking! I hope they find whomever did this and bring them to justice (and NOT just a slap on the wrist--this was a murder, afterall)!
Denise Biegeman August 20, 2013 at 09:37 PM
I am so enraged to hear about poor Maru. Her owners loved and cared for her. To have some Godless piece of shi# kill this poor dog is unbelievable!!! May she run free forever happy and may whomever did this to this sweet little angel die the slowest most horrifying death imaginable. Thats the only true justice for Maru and her family.
Adrianne Grade August 20, 2013 at 10:58 PM
They need to find this scumbag and prosecute him to the fullest extent!!!!!!!! Thoroughly disgusted!
ba August 20, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Perhaps a life was saved today........I was at the yogurt shop on Laurel and ventura, and upon returning to my car, next to me was a vehicle with the window open and a black chow sitting in there. It was far too hot, even with the window open. I looked for the owner to no avail. I poured a bottle of water into a cup and of course the pup lapped it up. While she was slurping away, a young woman came back and smiling said thank you. I was less than collegial, and told her about Maru. She gasped and said, I was only gone 30 seconds. I said, first, that is not true, and second, that is how long Maru's owner was gone. She apologized profusely, was distraught, and wanted to read the article on Patch. Perhaps, just perhaps, she will not do it again. 30 seconds.......that's all it takes. 30 seconds....and a life is ended. Leaving a dog in a car.....open closed, running or not.......it only takes 30 seconds. Maru, I think you saved a life today. I am so sorry yours is gone.
Autumn August 20, 2013 at 11:04 PM
That's too kind and why should we pay for a fair trial, meals and housing. They better b careful the next time they enter a running car. .....
pkoss2 August 20, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Very heartbreaking. All of those of you who are judging the family- shut up. Like you have never done anything innocent that you regretted. Guy thought he was doing the right thing leaving the A/C on for his dog. It is obviously a family that loves an cherishes their dog. The anger should be at the thieves. People who harm animals don't get hit with hard enough penalties. Channel your anger at changing that!
Autumn August 20, 2013 at 11:20 PM
ba You are awesome!!!! Everyone please note: A dog's body temp averages approx 101F . They do not sweat.....they rely on their nose and paws. Even an 80F day for 10 minutes is too hot in a car....it is also illegal and if in distress people like me will break your window and yes I will call LAPD. Also, people are stealing dogs from cars and outside stores. Stop tying them to a pole while you shop or run into Starbucks. .. sadly on the street your pet is cash commodity. There are some real nasty people who'd rather steal. Do your pets a favor, they have no sense of time - .....leave them at home... they will be safe and you will save yourself lifetime of heartbreak.
Debby Friesen Littlefield August 20, 2013 at 11:33 PM
I spent this day in tears as this just tore my heart out. How can anyone be this cruel to a poor loving dogk? This story just really broke my heart so I can e imagine how totally devastated this family is. I had hoped and prayed that Maru would be found and reunited with her family. I hope that whoever is this cruel and is punished to the fullest extent of the law. I am so sorry and so saddened by this in a way that no other story has ever made me feel. It is just like having your heart ripped out for everyone and especially those who knew and loved Maru.
Debby Friesen Littlefield August 20, 2013 at 11:48 PM
I just have to say one more thing. This kind of stealing is becoming a normal thing to thieves who want a quick robbery and dogs and kids both are being left inside of cars when this happens. I am referring to my area of Houston, TX. It isn't safe anymore to do much of anything. This story of Maru just made for a very very sad day and it has just hurt so many people who care. I hope they hang whoever did this.
ba August 21, 2013 at 07:38 AM
What is a "predictor"? Someone who hazards guesses? I think you meant predator. You make a feeble case for what occurredl There is nothing "normal" about the event. No, of course the owner didn't want this to happen, however, caution was not taken. I maintain.........if you take your dogs with you, and leave them in a car, for any amount of time......you are putting them in peril. Maru, may you rest in peace, and to the family that is grieving, I am so sorry. This is a story that should never have happened. Hopefully, it will save lives in the future.

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