East Bay woman devastated after emotional support dog stolen

OAKLAND, Calif. -- When you meet Lauren Jow these days, she seems distraught and sad, compared to the photos she posts online on her Instagram of her and her beloved dog, Charlie. The pair almost never leave each other's side.

The 3-year old Chihuahua mix is more than just a pet to Lauren.

"Charlie is my emotional support dog. Two years ago I was diagnosed with depression and I was at a point at my life where I couldn't take care of myself. I moved back home to be with my family and adopted Charlie."

Sunday morning, when Lauren went into the Lucky grocery store on East 18th Street in Oakland to buy some cereal, she tied Charlie up outside. Service dogs are allowed in store, but according to a manager, not emotional support animals.

"Dogs are allowed in Lucky...service dogs are allowed anywhere you want to take them. But emotional support is a lot more difficult to explain." Says Lauren.

When Lauren got outside, less than 10 minutes later, Charlie was gone.

"Security camera footage shows me walking into the store at 10:24 AM and my receipt when I checked out was 10:33am."

Lauren, a product designer hasn't been able to go to work or eat anything without Charlie.

Sobbing and barely able to speak, she has this message for whoever took her best friend.

"I just really need her back. I hope you reach out. If it's something you need in return...we can talk about that. But she's more than just a dog to me. She helps keep me going. Please bring her back home."

If you have any information that could lead to Charlie's safe return, please contact Lauren directly at Lauren.Jow@gmail.com
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