Statue stolen from Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital

OAKHURST, Calif. (KFSN) -- A symbol of the care for animals is missing from the Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital. It's in the form of a full-size statue of a boy and a dog and it was stolen over the weekend.

Sally Wider, the practice manager at the hospital, said, "it just kind of represented a really nice place to bring your animals."

Wider noticed the statue was missing the moment she showed up to work on Monday. It was attached to a boulder near the entrance for more than a decade. "It's just a boulder with a bunch of leftover feet on it now," Wider added, "it's just sad."

The statue was heavy. Wider said it would have taken multiple people to lift it and brute strength to break the bond with stone. A planned effort, she said, because the motion sensor surveillance cameras didn't catch the theft. Peggy Brannan, who lives in Oakhurst, said, "I think it's horrible, I mean it's been there for so many years, why would someone take a statue?"

Rachel Barkume who also lives in the town added, "As a resident of Oakhurst, I feel violated, this kind of stuff doesn't happen in small towns."

Wider feels the same way and talking about it brought her to tears, "Cause it's our home, that's why."

The community is trying to bring the statue home through social media and word of mouth. People have been constantly calling the front desk for updates but so far, there's no sign of it. "I'm hoping they can't hide it, somebody is gonna see it and give us a call," Wider said.

In the hands of a thief, Wider said the statue isn't worth anything-- it's not made of metal and the value can only be measured by what it means to the people at the hospital. "Whoever took that, is not gonna, you know, they don't have those types of feelings."

Still, with a big piece missing outside, Wider still has hope. The work at the veterinary hospital keeps going and the care never stops.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the statue is asked to call the Madera County Sheriff's Office.
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