It’s been four days since her car was stolen, with her deceased pets in it, and Patricia Skinner-Porter still hasn’t heard from police. But with the help of social media, the Monte Lake resident got her car, and the remains of her beloved cat and dog back.
Skinner-Porter had just come from the veterinarian on Monday, Dec. 30, where her dog and cat were euthanized in the back seat of her car so she could take them home to bury them.
“He (dog) was 16, had a stroke the day before and my cat was her best friend and he was 20,” said Skinner-Porter, who found the dog in the yard after he had lost control of his hind legs. “They were cuddled up together and I thought you know what I think this is time.”
On her way home from the vet, Skinner-Porter stopped at the Monte Lake Store at approximately 5:30 p.m. when her day became even more horrific in a matter of two minutes.
“I pulled into the store to drop off mail and I left my lights on because it’s very dark around the store,” said Skinner-Porter, who has lived in the area for 27 years and has never had an issue. “It’s like 20 feet to the store, I dropped off my mail wished them a Happy New Year, and it was gone.”
Her car was no where to be seen.
She called and waited for police, who she says never showed up, before she called a familiar number on the message board at the store and asked for a ride home.
The RCMP eventually got in touch and issued a file number, but in the meantime, Skinner-Porter got her black Volkswagen Jetta back without the police’s help.
“I found it on Facebook,” she said.
A friend had posted in the Vernon Rant and Rave that the car was stolen, which another nearby resident saw.
Claudia Nadine drives that stretch of Highway 97 every day and had noticed a car buried in snow down by the train tracks a couple kilometres away from the store in one of the pull outs on New Years Day.
“I only noticed ‘cause I drive the road every day,” Nadine said. “Things stand out when they don’t belong.”
Skinner-Porter saw the message and went to check it out. Sure enough, it was her car, stripped of all her belongings, except her fur babies.
“I can almost guarantee you that when the creep that took the car looked back and saw a dog in the back seat and realized it was dead, it probably freaked him out,” she said, grateful that her irreplaceable animals were still there.
“The bad thing is I had to get them back myself.”
On top of her upset with the RCMP response, Skinner-Porter is now left with a feeling of invasion.
“I haven’t locked my door in 40 years and now I’m locking my door,” she said while at home, and now particularly grateful for her security dog and alarm system.
She just wishes that she had her security dog in the car that day with her.