Yakima man accused of stealing puppy ‘Bruiser’ from animal shelter arrested, dog still missing

Stolen Dog

YAKIMA, Wash. — A 34-year-old man has been arrested after authorities say he stole a puppy from the Yakima Humane Society.

Gustavo Guzman-Cuevas was arrested Thursday on suspicion of third-degree theft, as well as a prior warrant filed against him in Yakima County Superior Court.

On Saturday afternoon,  a three-month-old Chihuahua mix named Bruiser was stolen from his kennel, Volunteer Programs Coordinator Mary Wilsey said.

Wilsey said Bruiser had already been adopted and was awaiting surgery before being taken to his forever home, leaving his new family, “extremely upset.”

“They had been looking for the perfect dog for years and once they saw him and met him, they knew he was the one,” Wilsey said. “To find out that he’d literally been stolen out from under them is heartbreaking.”

Surveillance video reportedly shows Guzman-Cuevas walking into the room where the shelter keeps small dogs and leaving with Bruiser.

“He immediately goes to the kennel, takes the dog out, puts it in his coat and then walks out the front door with his head down,” Wilsey said.

Wilsey said when Guzman-Cuevas was arrested by police, he reportedly told officers he’d given the dog away, but didn’t disclose any specifics. She said the family doesn’t want to replace the puppy with another one: they want Bruiser back.

“Whoever has it, I understand that you may have fallen in love with it,” Wilsey said. “It’s hard not to: he’s a three-month-old Chihuahua puppy, but he had a family waiting.”

The Yakima Humane Society is asking anyone with information to contact them at 509-457-6854.