by Sam Levin
Doug Clark didn't even realize his Facebook post about his stolen pug named Dugout would be viewable to the public, but within days of publishing his status update, the story of his missing dog went viral, earning him thousands of online supporters across the country and beyond.
"I was just trying to reach the local community," Clark, a Marshfield resident, tells Daily RFT. "It's an overwhelming amount of support at all hours of the day. It's reached Australia! It's crazy."
The case of his snatched dog is certainly not a typical missing-pet story -- and given the intense attention, he is hopeful that he and his children will get a chance to reunite with Dugout soon.
Clark, 30, was apparently in Springfield last Thursday when a man and a woman hopped into his 2009 black Nissan Pathfinder and drove off right before his eyes.
Dugout was inside the car.
"I saw the man in my car driving," he tells us.
The theft reportedly happened at a recycling center, and he was unable to stop the criminals from driving off.
He reported it to police but without any results the following day he put up a lengthy message on Facebook, an open letter to the car thieves with a rather unusual offer: "I have an idea. You two just keep the ride. I'll meet you with the title to make your life easier. All you gotta bring is an alive Pug."
Here are screenshots of that post, which has been shared more than 85,000 times with more than 40,000 likes:
The post came with this photo of Clark holding the physical title:
He also posted information about the stolen car and photos of the vehicle on his page, which has a steady stream of commenters offering tips about potential missing pugs that could be Dugout. Prayers and comments of support are coming in from all over the U.S. and overseas.
"I feel like the walls are caving in on the people who took my car," he says. "Somebody somewhere will leak something."
Clark, who owns a computer software developing company, got Dugout for his 30th birthday. And his three children -- ages five, six and nine -- want to reunite with the dog just as much as he does.
"It's extremely important to my kids. It's hard on them," he says.
The suspects ultimately need to face consequences for their actions, he adds. "What I'm most concerned about is that this doesn't happen to somebody else."
Here are some more pics of Dugout that he posted on Facebook after the theft.