Teacup Yorkie Taken From Outside Staten Island Family's Home, Family Says

By Nicholas Rizzi on May 6, 2014 7:03am 

Yorkie Taken from Staten Island Yard
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Angela Pennachio

NEW DORP BEACH — An 11-year-old teacup Yorkie who suffers from seizures was picked up by a man outside its New Dorp Beach home and carried off Friday night, according to its owners.

Angela Pennachio had let her two dogs into the backyard of her Marine Way home shortly after 10 p.m. 

The Yorkie, Rusty, got out of the gate and was in the front yard when an unidentified man stopped, looked around, picked him up and walked away while the family was calling for the dog, surveillance footage taken by a camera on the family's home shows.

"He came walking up from the corner, the dog had just come from peeing in front of the tree in my house," Pennachio said. "He just bent down, kind of looked around, scooped him up and walked away."

After they saw the footage, Pennachio and her family went around the neighborhood asking people if they'd seen the pooch or the man, to no avail.

"You don't just pick up the dog and walk away," she said. "If he would of rang the bell we would've just said, 'Yep, that's our dog.'"

Rusty, who the family has had since he was a puppy, is blind in the right eye and suffers from seizures when he gets over-stimulated, Pennachio said. The seizures can last up to a half-hour and can occur at any time.

"It just comes out of nowhere," she said. "He starts flapping on the floor, sometimes he urinates himself."

Over the weekend, the family flooded the neighborhood with fliers searching for the dog, contacted local vets and animal shelters and also posted the video on a Facebook page, hoping it will help get Rusty back.

Pennachio hasn't filed a police report about the incident because she said she doesn't think it would be a priority for them.

So far, the search for Rusty hasn't come up with any leads. Pennachio worries the man will try to sell Rusty.

"He's an expensive dog, and he probably thought he was puppy since he's so small," she said.

Rusty has gotten out of Pennachio's backyard two times before, and both times the family was able to find him quickly and bring him home.

 Angela Pennachio has put up fliers around Staten Island looking for her 11-year-old teacup Yorkie Rusty, who she said was taken from her front yard on Friday, May 2, 2014.
Angela Pennachio has put up fliers around Staten Island looking for her 11-year-old teacup Yorkie Rusty, who she said was taken from her front yard on Friday, May 2, 2014.
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Angela Pennachio

Pennachio said her daughter has been really upset since his disappearance.

"He's not a well dog," she said. "We would like to have him back home."

Anybody with information on Rusty's whereabouts can call 718-351-1137.

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