A woman who was considering adopting a dog at Sunday's Krewe of Mutts parade ended up walking away with a Heeler mix, prompting a frantic search for the pup, said a West Feliciana Animal Humane Society official.
That dog, Bonnie, has now been recovered, the woman suspected of taking off with the dog is now in custody, and the West Feliciana Animal Humane Society has started planning changes for its policy on letting potential adopters walk their dogs.
"We're already saying we'll get photos of everyone's driver's license or require that they hand in their driver's license before they walk the dog," Josette Lester, past president and present board member of the humane society, said Monday.
Bonnie the dog was found safe and sound Monday near the Greyhound bus station in Baton Rouge.
The woman accused of taking the dog, Veronica Theurer, was arrested Monday morning, without the dog, after she called 911 to complain about her car being towed, arrest records show.
Lester said the Humane Society often participates in the annual Krewe of Mutts parade and always brings dogs that are up for adoption to the downtown Baton Rouge event.
If a person is interested in adopting a dog and would like to take a short walk with the animal, the humane society has allowed that, she said.
On Sunday, a woman named Veronica expressed interest in Bonnie, a 9-month-old, black-and-white female Heeler mix, Lester said.
Humane society volunteers took a picture of the woman with Bonnie, solely for the purpose of posting happy pictures on Facebook about a possible adoption.
The woman had mentioned her first name to volunteers and "fortunately we took two pictures of her," Lester said.
The woman brought Bonnie back to the Humane Society's table, then walked off with the dog again, Lester said.
A little too much time went by and "she wasn't in our field of vision," Lester said.
Volunteers frantically looked for Bonnie, then notified parade officials and local police officers at the parade, as well as staff with the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control and Rescue Center, who were also there.
Bonnie couldn't be found.
The West Feliciana Humane Society posted the incident on Facebook and filed a report with Baton Rouge Police.
Meanwhile, the humane society began to receive a string of calls with possible sightings of Theurer's and Bonnie's whereabouts, Lester said.
Shortly after Theurer and Bonnie disappeared from the parade, one caller reported seeing them involved in a car accident in Baton Rouge.
Later on Sunday, the pair reportedly were seen at the Walmart on College Drive; then next at a convenience store in Prairieville.
On Monday, callers reported seeing Bonnie near the Greyhound bus station in Baton Rouge.
Volunteers went looking, and Lester did, too.
"Within three blocks of the bus station, I found Bonnie walking around in a parking lot," Lester said. "I had bought chicken for lunch that I hadn't had time to eat and just gave it to Bonnie."
"We are thrilled she's back," Lester said.
Shortly after 9 a.m. Monday, Theuer called the Baton Rouge Police towing and recovery unit, complaining about her car being towed, became "irate and uncooperative" and hung up, arrest records say.
Theurer next called 911.
Theurer, 55, of 7617 Springs Drive, Watauga, Texas, whose car had been towed away by a local towing company before a Baton Rouge police officer responded to her 911 call, arrest records said, was arrested at the Baton Rouge convenience store she had called from.
Theurer was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a count of theft of a dog.