Single Dad Offers Reward After Therapy Dog For Epileptic Baby Stolen

SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A Southland dad is desperately trying to find a dog that helps him care for his infant daughter after it was apparently stolen from his backyard.

Brian Margarita, a single parent from Point Loma, said his Doberman Pinscher named Bella is more than just a family pet — she’s a certified therapy dog for his 9-month-old daughter Reese, who has epilepsy.

“Obviously there’s baby monitors in here that I can hear the baby, but I don’t feel like I could react as fast as the dog is sensing things before they happen,” Margarita said.

Bella sleeps next to Reese’s crib and starts barking whenever the baby has a seizure — a job that Margarita said he relies on every night to help him care for his little girl.

Margarita said he has taken to Facebook to alert dog rescue groups across the nation to be on the lookout for Bella, who has been missing for over a week.

“It’s almost on the borderline of stealing someone’s kid,” he said. “How do you have any conscience about taking something that somebody has a bond with?”

Margarita is offering a $1,000 reward for the dog’s return. Anyone with information is asked to email him at brianmargarita@gmail.com.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Carrie says:

    I hope whoever took Bella sees this and realizes what they have done and gives Bella back…Good Luck!

  2. dave Lo says:

    This mother F who took Bella better return it asap.

  3. PetraS says:

    It would be helpful to know from the text where exactly the dog was stolen from. Where in San Diego? Not all computers can play that video.

    1. Amelia Latham says:

      From the text: “Brian Margarita, a single parent from Point Loma”

  4. PetraS says:

    I might add. This is why you never, ever leave a dog, even a big, mixed-breed dog, alone in a yard, a seemingly safe patio area, a car, or just tied out.

    Dog theft is far more common that most people realize. They think their dog ran away. It did not.

    Example: people across the street from me had a full-grown pit bull… perfectly trained, raised from a puppy. It was stolen from their patio, which had no external access. Someone either had to hoist the dog over an 8 foot wooden fence that was on 2 sides… or they had to pass through the patios of 5 other units, which all had relatively high concrete block fences and wrought iron, locked gates. The latter has to be the way they did it.

    And… they did it while the people were in their apartment, which had sliding glass doors. The dog simply went missing from the patio in the space of 30 min while everyone was home… and less than 15 ft away. The dog was targeted.

    Odds are Bella was targeted.

  5. sharon says:

    My heart goes out to them. I pray Bella has a speedy and safe return home to her family…

  6. who eva has taken dis angel..wnt eva b able to love in peace untill he or she doesnt return Bella to her True owner :*n

  7. John Sibley says:

    I sympathize deeply with the plight of this family, but I despair over the references to Bella as an “it” and a “thing”. Bella is a “she”.

    1. Heather King says:

      So very, very true. Bella is a SHE and I pray she is reunited with her family.

  8. sarah kerr says:

    Heart goes out to this little girl and dad.. My daughter has epilepsy as well and although we never had a ‘real therapy dog’ our’s knows when something is going to happen before all of us. Hope that you get her back Your in our thoughts all the way in Australia.. Good luck

  9. Devin says:

    Bella is an angel and I believe she will return home to you!

  10. Laurelishish says:

    I believe Bella must have been stolen by someone that she knows well enough that they could approach her without her barking to draw attention to what might be taking place.
    Doberman Pinschers are very protective of their home, and make a loud fuss if any strangers try to enter their territory, unless they know the person. This would be especially true if she was out in the yard alone.
    I would advise the Margaritas to look with suspecian and do a some investigating of people that they know, have been to their home, and met Bella. . .

  11. Laurelishish says:

    I believe Bella must have been stolen by someone that she knows well enough that they could approach her without her barking to draw attention to what might be taking place.
    Doberman Pinschers are very protective of their home, and make a loud fuss if any strangers try to enter their territory, unless they know the person. This would be especially true if she was out in the yard alone.
    I would advise the Margaritas to look with suspician and do a some investigating of people that they know, have been to their home, and met Bella. . .

  12. Linda Miller Mchugh says:

    i had a dog once that the cops tould me to keep and eye on because some one may went to steal him because of the looks of him and he was part gsd so we never let him out wiht out some one with nim. gob bless bella and bring her home safe to her famaily that needs her

  13. debbie says:

    thats a shame..hope he finds the dog if not already..i have a daughter with epilepsy to.

  14. medeyra says:

    How can we help the father? Any updates?

  15. Stephanie says:

    NEVER leave your pets outside alone! The father mentioned it’s “borderline stealing a kid”…..then would you leave your kid outside alone? NO. Then don’t leave your beloved pets outside. It’s NOT safe. Obviously.

  16. Christina Boling says:

    The dog is a service dog, not a therapy dog. Therapy dogs provide comfort to people in hospitals and retirement homes. Service dogs provide a service, usually for medical reasons.

    http://www.pleasedontpetme.com/

    1. Kay Fogleman says:

      Oh come on ! Stop being so analytical ,the dog helped the girl who cares about the damn title!! Therapy or service dog ,it doesn’t matter,the only thing that matters is that Bella helped this child !! You missed the whole important thing about this dog,get off your “I know better then anyone attitude”.

      1. Teresa B says:

        Kay please relax….. it is an important distinction. Christina is not being disrespectful, she is providing information that is important for the public to understand. A service dog could mean the difference between life or death for the human they service, the website she cited is just more information. My niece has seizures from a brain tumor and she can’t even get one of these dogs, she is now trying to train her own border collie, this website has been a big help. When someone shares their knowledge with you, it is not to insult you.

  17. j black says:

    Ok so there’s a difference between a service dog n a therapy dog. Does it really matter in this case? Either way, the Bella is VITAL to the health n well-being of the little girl and is no longer there. Without going into religion, say a few words to St. Francis, patron saint of animals…its worked for me on several occasions. I hope you find Bella.

  18. loki says:

    Either this guys story is BS or the reporter has their facts wrong. First and foremost. The dog wouldn’t be considered a therapy dog it would be considered a service dog.

    A therapy dog is a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, people with learning difficulties, and stressful situations, such as disaster areas.

    A service dog is a type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities (like epileptics)

    He’s lying about his dog being a certified therapy dog or else he’d know the difference.

    If you have a service dog who is trained to alert you at the onset of a seizure then why is your dog in the back yard where someone can steal it? It should be in the room with your baby.

    Hopefully the dog is found.

    1. Ellie says:

      The father never said the words “therapy dog,” that was the reporter. The flash of the vest said “service dog.” It was the reporter that had the facts wrong. And specifically, the dog wasn’t stolen at night when she watches over Reese, she was stolen during the day…a time that he was probably right next to his daughter himself. People let their dogs out all the time, theft isn’t something most people would think about, especially with a Doberman Pincher. Please don’t be so quick to judge.

    2. roobydog says:

      The title of the dog is not what is important in this case…that much should be obvious. And it should be obvious, as well, to know that even service and therapy dogs need time to “do their business”. They aren’t necessarily by their owners sides 24/7. What is important is that Bella is returned…and that whoever took her is punished to the fullest extent of the law. Simple as that,

  19. Pete says:

    Any update on this story?

  20. Ellie says:

    I pray that this dog is returned safely to the family that loves and needs her.

  21. nnels54 says:

    Here’s a more accurate description of Bella – Medical Alert Dog, which I guess would be a type of service dog.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2820876/posts
    Hope they get Bella back home.
    Too bad the journalist who wrote this piece can’t update it – it paints a suspect picture of the dad due to the nomenclature errors and I think he’s up and up.

  22. mayryan says:

    Seriously people bickering over the name used for the dog? That’s about as intelligent as bickering over a kid being sick or not being sick cause they cannot pronounce the S. OH MY GOSH she said she was ICK…MUST BE A LIAR, and I am so sure everyone commenting on service/therapy verbiage has NEVER missused a word. DOH! Help the man find his dog for his kid and stop picking apart a story thinking you never used THEIR in place of THERE in your life.

  23. Are there any updates on this story? So sad… I read on another article that Bella is microchipped – would they be able to locate her that way? (not familiar with microchipping so I’m just curious…)

    Praying for her safe return❤

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