Sioux Falls family searching for stolen French Bulldog puppy

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 10:10 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - French Bulldogs have been the most commonly stolen dog breed according to the American Kennel Club, and one Sioux Falls woman believes her son’s emotional support dog was part of this trend.

French Bulldogs are quickly becoming a hot commodity. Thieves commonly resell or breed these popular dogs to make thousands of dollars. Even Lady Gaga had her two French Bulldogs stolen from her dogwalker at gunpoint in 2021. Thankfully, the Sioux Falls dog went missing in a less-violent manner.

Michaela Eslinger, her two children, and her sister faith moved to Sioux Falls from Montana nine months ago. They got their French Bulldog, Toast, on November 10. Toast became her son Kane’s emotional support dog.

“Since we’ve gotten her, he has totally changed,” said Eslinger. “I mean, they are best friends. Hanging on her, constantly making sure that she’s following him, especially bedtime, he makes sure she is there. They’re two characters, for sure.”

March 5 was a somber day for the Eslingers. Toast went missing after she escaped through a broken portion of their fence.

“Snow melted and it showed the hole and the dogs decided they wanted to go for an adventure,” explained Eslinger. “We noticed they were gone when we went to go let them in and there was no dogs. So we started calling for them and our little corgi came back and he came back, but she didn’t.”

Their search took a turn when they received word that two women were seen with what is believed to be Toast at Red Rock Inn on 41st Street in Sioux Falls. They were trying to check into a room, but all rooms were filled. They did not have a car and since they didn’t check in, they didn’t leave their information. This is the last known place where Toast is believed to have been seen. A police report has already been made.

“We drove for blocks around the area. There wasn’t a dog anywhere. We walked, we talked to neighbors. I definitely believe she was stolen,” said Eslinger.

Toast means a lot to the family, especially Kane. Eslinger says that he still often calls out for her at nighttime or in their backyard.

“She was so new to the family, but she just made such a big impression on us. It has been very sad,” expressed Eslinger.

Her advice to dog owners is to get your dog microchipped so that if something like this were to happen to your dog, they can be found more easily. If you know anything about Toast, please contact the Sioux Falls police or Eslinger via Facebook.