A puppy belonging to a terminally ill 5-year-old girl in Burlington, North Carolina, was recently stolen, according to local authorities and the girl’s family.
Shala Browning and her family, including her 5-year-old daughter Zakaia Gray who has brain cancer, left the house last Saturday to celebrate Zakaia’s birthday. When they returned home, her 11-week-old American Bully puppy was missing.
“I usually take [Annabella May] everywhere with us. I am trying to get her kennel trained, so I was like ‘She will be OK for a couple of hours.’ We went out to Durham for my birthday dinner, and when we got back, she was gone,” Browning told the Burlington Times-News.
Officials with the Burlington Police Department were called shortly after and confirmed that only the puppy was stolen during the break in. Browning told the paper that she suspects the robber made his or her way into the home through a soon-to-be-repaired broken window on a door.
The puppy, named Annabella May, has served as a companion for Zakaia, who was told she has up to six months to live.
“It was a comfort for us to have a little puppy around,” Browning said of Annabella May.
Authorities, who are still investigating the incident, encourage anyone with information to call the Burlington Police Department at 336-229-3500.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.