Questions Arise After Rescue Mentor Dog Found Dead Outside Owner's Home in Castro Valley | NBC Bay Area
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Questions Arise After Rescue Mentor Dog Found Dead Outside Owner's Home in Castro Valley

Alameda County Sheriff's investigators say the case is being examined as an incident of animal cruelty and not fraud

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    Days after disappearing from his Castro Valley home, a rescue mentor dog was found dead by his owner Friday morning, but some skeptics think the whole ordeal might have been a scam to raise reward funds. Chuck Coppola reports.

    (Published Friday, May 5, 2017)

    Days after disappearing from his Castro Valley home, a rescue mentor dog was found dead by his owner Friday morning, but some skeptics question the circumstances surrounding the dog's death and discovery.

    Murfee, the 3-year-old German Shepherd, was snatched from his home near Palomares Road Sunday afternoon, according to JJ Jacobson, Murfee's owner. Five days later, the people who allegedly stole the dog placed him in the backseat of Jacobson's car located on her property, Jacobson said.

    That claim generated some skepticism on a Facebook page dedicated to finding Murfee.

    "Doesn't make sense at all," one person wrote on Facebook. "The owner may have accidentally left the poor pup in the car."

    Jacobson, a former police officer who says she has rescued thousands of dogs over the years, vehemently denied the allegations that her pet died under her care.

    "He didn't," she said. "First of all, he didn't. Anybody who has been to the house knows that Murfee wasn't in the house."

    Jacobson added that her dog's disappearance, death and discovery are bizarre.

    "I completely understand where somebody would say, 'Well, that's crazy,'" she said. "Yeah, it really is crazy."

    Before making the grim discovery, Jacobson took to GoFundMe to raise $10,000 in reward money in hopes of generating any information about her beloved pup's whereabouts. Thanks to a search effort driven by social media, that GoFundMe account raised more than $10,000. That money is now going back to those who donated.

    "Everybody's going to get their money back," Jacobson said. "I mean, everybody knows that's what was going to happen."

    Alameda County Sheriff's investigators say the case is being examined as an incident of animal cruelty and not fraud.

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