STOCKTON (CBS13) – A Stockton man’s truck was stolen and stripped while his dog was still in the back. Now, the truck and dog have been found, but the dog is seriously hurt.
The man calls it, “the worst night of his life.”
It happened Wednesday afternoon in downtown Stockton.
Gunner is being treated at Walker Veterinary Hospital in Stockton. His owner, Charles Siegle, calls it a miracle that he found him. He says it was the power of the Stockton community that brought them back together.
Siegle calls the moment, reuniting with Gunnar, as “pure bliss.”
“There’s just nothing that can replace this, speechless. I’m speechless about it,” he said.
CBS13 captured the moment that Siegle was reunited with his best friend.
“He’s always been there for me, and to not have that last night, was the most terrifying thing in the world,” he said.
Siegle, a train conductor, was picking up his uniform downtown and left Gunnar in the car for just minutes with the door unlocked.
“I left him in the truck with the AC running. I figured it was an 80-pound dog, I’ve done this a million times before.”
His red truck was stolen, and there was no sign of Gunnar.
“I don’t care about the truck. It could be upside down in the canal on fire, I needed to know where the dog was,” he said.
Hours later, the truck was found, gutted. It was stripped of everything, from personal information to even Gunnar’s dog toys.
“They took everything I had of him away, for I don’t know what reason,” said Siegle
Still, there was no sign of Gunnar. So Siegle went to social media for help.
“Help him find the dog with the red bandanna,” he wrote.
Then, someone posted a picture of a dog on Facebook. It was Gunnar.
Eventually, Siegle found his dog alone and seriously hurt. It’s not clear how he received his injuries. There were road rash and open wounds. But, he was found with the red bandanna still around his neck.
Gunnar now needs surgery, but the veterinarian’s treating him at Walker Veterinary Hospital in Stockton think he will be OK. He has severe open wounds and a leg fracture.
“I’m still in shock he’s right here, and I can’t believe I was blessed to get him back,” Siegle said.
He’s thankful to the community for keeping an extra eye out for him, and for bringing them back together.
“There are still great people that live in this city, and it gives me so much hope for Stockton,” he said.
No arrests have been made, and there are no descriptions of the suspects involved. Stockton police and CHP are investigating.
If you’d like to help Gunnar or Charles, there is a GoFundMe page created for them. You can find that link here.