Newlyweds Adam and Kristen Kernaghan thought they were doing the right thing, Sunday morning, when they cracked open their windows, left plenty of food and water in the car and surrounded their new puppy with plenty of toys to play with, but when they came back less than 30 minutes later - Gus was gone.
"We got this puppy on Saturday because we lost our beloved bulldog Sam when he was just 2 ½ years old from complications from a seizure," said Kristen Kernaghan. "So we just felt like we filled this huge void in our hearts and not even 24 hours later he was taken away from us."
The couple said they had a big day planned for their new pup. Gus was scheduled to meet Adam's parents for the first time, right after church. At around 11 a.m. Sunday morning, the Kernaghan's parked their car at Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church in Oakhurst to attend a portion of the services. When they returned, they said, Gus was nowhere in sight.
He was small enough to where he couldn't gain access out of the car," said Adam Kernaghan. "He couldn't climb stairs. He wouldn't be able to climb up on the seat and he definitely wouldn't have gotten up to the window or over the window to get out."
The Kernaghan's believe someone saw Gus sitting in the car and reached in through the window to unlock the door and get him out. They said the Sunday sermon was unusually packed and there were plenty of cars whizzing by on Highway 41. "He's the cutest thing, I can't imagine anyone walking by and not taking notice," said Kristen Kernaghan.
On Tuesday, the dedicated duo hung more than 750 posters at nearby shopping centers, intersections, even the post office. We've been sending people to North Fork and all the way down into Raymond to cover all areas he could be transported to," said Adam Kernaghan. "We've contacted vets and pet ER's and the SPCA, we've had the (Madera County) sheriff's department fill out a report to see if they could help us."
But so far, the Kernaghan's haven't been able to find their precious pooch. They're now hoping whomever has their dog will realize he's more than just a pet to them and more like a member of their own family.
"We fell in love in with our first bulldog's personality and we sacrificed to get another one," said Kristen. "When we went to pick him up he was more than we could ever ask for. He was just the most darling puppy and we loved him so much even in that first moment."
The couple is now offering a $300 dollar reward to find their puppy. If you have any information, call 559-760-5818 or contact the Madera County Sheriff's Department.