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Mabel, bulldog stolen in Youngstown, found in Columbus

Published: Fri, September 14, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.


Mary Gump of Youngstown receives a kiss from Mabel at her home on the city’s West Side. The bulldog was reported stolen at the Bob Evans restaurant along Belmont Avenue on Aug. 14. Gump helped in the dog’s recovery and is housing Mabel until her owner, Brook Jillings of Boise, Idaho, arrives and reunites with her beloved pet sometime today.




An Idaho family has found its beloved pet after it was reported kidnapped a month ago. Mabel the bulldog, who was reported stolen Aug. 14, is back in Youngstown after she was found Wednesday in Columbus.

“I was just ecstatic after I found out, I didn’t know what to do with myself,” said Brook Jillings, Mabel’s owner.

Jillings was on the road Thursday from Boise, Idaho, heading to Youngstown to reunite with her dog by this evening.

She credits all the good Samaritans who helped in the search, especially Mary Gump of Youngstown, who is housing Mabel until she arrives.

“I was just another person trying to find Mabel,” said Gump, who hired a friend to drive to Columbus to pick up Mabel after she was contacted by Jillings on Wednesday.

The dog is now safe at her West Side home in Youngstown, awaiting her owner.

“I’m not sure how she ended up in Columbus,” said Jillings. “But she’s the right weight and she’s eating. Her skin condition is a little out of control. We can get a handle on that.”

Mabel’s return began Wednesday, after Jillings was contacted by a woman in Columbus who said she had Mabel for about a week. Jillings said the woman bought Mabel for $500 from a man outside a Kroger grocery store on the west side of Columbus.

The woman contacted Jillings after she saw an advertisement for a missing dog on Craigslist that looked like the one she had purchased. The woman sent several pictures of the dog to Jillings before a local dog warden came and verified the identity of the dog, which had a microchip planted

inside her.

“I knew it was Mabel after I saw the pictures,” said Jillings.

Mabel’s ordeal began when Brook Jillings, her husband, Paul, and her 2-year-old daughter, Marley, were traveling from Pennsylvania to Washington. On Aug. 14 the family stopped to eat at the Bob Evans restaurant on Belmont Avenue about 4 p.m.

The family said they left Mabel in their minivan and returned 15 minutes later to check on her. They saw someone had broken into their van and Mabel was gone.

A week after Mabel went missing, Paul and Marley returned to Idaho while Brook stayed in Youngstown to search for her. Nearly a month after Mabel went missing, Brook flew back to Idaho on Monday. It took only two days before she received the call that notified her of Mabel’s whereabouts. Although she praises the Columbus woman for calling her, she saves most of the credit for the Youngstown people who made her return possible.

“It’s incredible to me that everyone came together for a complete stranger,” she said. “I know I couldn’t have done this on my own.”

Jillings said she plans to pay the Columbus woman $1,000 for Mabel’s safe return. She said she also is planning an event in Youngstown to celebrate Mabel’s safe return.

Related Stories:

Idaho Family Searching for Bulldog Stolen at Liberty Restaurant

Idaho Travelers Plan to Stay until Stolen Dog is Returned


1Education_Voter(1175 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Great news of the day!

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2gordy850(22 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

In the future, leave your pets and valubles at home with other family members or friends while traveling the nation. The job sounds like a young single man's kind of job, not a job for a family man to have, your children will need to have friends and go to school someday, how does that happen? A job change is long past due for you at this point.

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3whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Glad Mabel will be returned home, show's there are still some Good people left in this world.

Unlike Gordon who thinks he has the answers for all of mankind.

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4cavs1981(32 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Gordy, you a an idiot! I can not believe that came from what I would have to believe is someone old enough to be an "adult" pure idiot! Congrats to the family for finding their dog. Finally one happy story for youngstown.

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5peggygurney(408 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

YAYYY for Mabel and congrats to her family.

See??? Youngstown still has a LOT of good people!

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6yng00128(67 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Gordy probably works for the IRS......a heartless, inept fool to put it nicely !!!!!!

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7kensgirl(1067 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Only a low life POS would steal someone's dog. I know the culprit will never be found but what goes around...
Thank God for good samaritans. They're still alive and breathing. Welcome home Mabel.

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8boxerlover(133 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Congrats to the Jillings family for never giving up on finding their beloved pet. And yes, Youngstown does have good people!

Gordy, to some pets are family. So when it's about a family vacation, guess what? The pet comes too. I applaud them for not leaving their best friend at home.

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9becky47(34 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

When I read about this yesterday it made my week. It is good to see that Youngstown is getting some good press, AND yes there are some GREAT people here. Now that Mabel has been found lets put the heat on the POS that stole Adam and Eve from their owners home in New Castle.
And Gordy have you been living under a rock the last several years? Jobs are hard to find and good paying one are even harder. The man is making a living and providing for his family who are you to judge?

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10rocky14(840 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Let's see---she buys a dog at a grocery story,along with a loaf of bread.She pays $500 for the dog.Gets $1000 reward.$500 profit.Sounds right to me.

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11walter_sobchak(2728 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

When I first read the story, I wondered who buys a dog in the Kroger parking lot for $500. Someone please tell me how this is different from buying a hot TV; it used to be called "receiving stolen property". But, I'm glad the dog is going back to the rightful owner.

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12southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

A happy ending...keep a better watch on your pet in the future.

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13rocco15(1 comment)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm glad they got their dog back, but the whole story sounds fishy. She bought the dog at a grocery store? And no one seems concerned with the fact that they left their dog in a van on a hot August day.Nothing upsets me more than to see a dog left in a car on a hot day while their owner shops or eats at a restaurant. They seem to really love their pet tho and I hope they learned their lesson and NEVER do that again!

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14taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Rocco, I have to agree that something is strange about the woman buying a dog for $500 at a store. I donated to the reward money and don't think it's the owners that are fishy, but could be fishy about the person getting reward money. The other part I was wondering about was that she is giving $1,000 to the woman who found Mable, but I read long ago that the reward fund was up to $3,500. Where is the rest of the money going?

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15wmg(7 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

The $3,500 reward was offered by an outsider, not by the family or the rescue (Canine Crusaders) who helped with the search. I guess it would be up to that private donor to decide whether or not to honor their offer.
Another issue -- the temperature on that August day was unseasonably cool during and after the rain storm. I believe it was just under 70 degrees.
After meeting the family and hearing their stories and looking at their photos, it's clear that Mabel is a part of their family ...and no, they will never leave her unattended again.

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16VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Buying a dog in a parking lot from a stranger reminds me of single men selling watches in downtown Youngstown a few years ago. Wanna buy a watch? They would flash 3 watches on each wrist and offer a very low price. If you don't trust the guy selling watches, why would you trust the person selling a dog for $500 in a parking lot...and with no papers?

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17gordy850(22 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I am glad they got the dog back, in fact they are very lucky they did get her back. Contrary to some other comments , I don't live under a rock and I do have a heart.

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18DontBanThisDrone(1046 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

ailierdroit wrote: "...someone who can only work a job under certain conditions, like the public sector."



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19YtownParent(1089 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Glad they got her back, but that story reeks like month old tuna salad. Since Mabel is her proper weight and has a healthy appetite, it might be best to revert to a don't ask don't tell policy. Personally, I think it warrants as much scrutiny as it would get if it was the minivan that was stolen and later recovered from someone who bought it in a Kroger's parking lot with no papers.

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20Aware(255 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

As an animal lover, I am thrilled that Mabel is back with her 'owners'. But the story has been fishy since the beginning. No reasonable pet owner leaves their animal in a car - I wrote about this earlier. Eating places have outdoor seating in nice weather. Opt for that. How did this pooch end up in Columbus? Who got her there? OK. I food shop. Sure, I'll buy a random dog at the grocery store and pay $500 sight unseen and no papers, seller name, etc? I keep hearing about the economy being so bad. So randomly someone buys a dog while food shopping, happens to suddenly look at Craig's List, owners are struggling AND from 'out of town', donations in place...blah. I agree with Y'town and Z123 - and Gordy is not that far off. We can get all fuzzy about Mabel (again, I love animals)...but something is suspect here. what does anyone know about the 'owners'? why were they here? Living in a van?
And the New Castle thing on the heels of this is weird. Let's see how that pans out, folks. Could be an animals for rewards scam. Stay tuned. The only innocent players so far are the animals. If only they could speak...

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