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Dogs stolen along with van found safe in St. Paul


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St. Paul officer Joe LaBathe is pictured with gold shepherds Harkin and Dev, Saturday, May 5, 2018. The dogs were stolen along with a van in downtown St. Paul on Friday.
An Owatonna woman is praising the keen eye of a St. Paul police officer who found her stolen van Saturday morning with her two golden retriever dogs inside.
“He’s a hero,” said owner Kate Furness of Officer Joe LaBathe, who located the dogs just a few blocks away from where the van was stolen. “I’m so happy. The dogs are safe.”
St. Paul police confirmed Saturday that the dogs had been found safe.
Furness said she spent a “hysterical” night after the theft, and her son put out calls on social media asking the public to help find the van and dogs. She had worried that no one would find them in time.
“It was all due to that police officer who had his eyes open,” she said. The van was found missing two tires, but the dogs, in crates, were alive and safe in the back.
Furness, a defense attorney, said she drove into town Friday to see her son’s children and to visit a client at St. Joseph’s Hospital. She put her two show dogs, Harkin and Dev, in their crates in the back of her van to keep her company.
When she reached St. Joseph’s Hospital, about 6 p.m., she parked near 10th and St. Peter streets. She cracked the windows for the dogs, locked the van and headed toward the hospital, Furness said.
While on the third floor of the hospital, she looked out a window to check on her van and her dogs and noticed her van was gone, she said.
“The cops came right away,” said Furness, who had been worried about what would happen if her dogs were let loose in the city.
That could have ended terribly. If it had been my van I think the little lady of the house would have sent me out to look non-stop until their were found. :eek::eek: 
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