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Pet rescuer’s Jeep stolen while saving friend’s dog

BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS,  MO - An act of kindness turns into a moment of despair.

“There were five kids outside playing, I showed them the picture and said have you seen this dog? Yes, it’s in our backyard it’s in the park and I said OK,“ says Janice Ritter.

She was helping her friend search for her lost dog and she spotted it running loose through the Bella Fontaine West Park in north St. Louis County, so she tried to lure it over.

“So we went to the car and got the dog food and somewhere along that point I must’ve lost the keys because I thought I still had them in my pocket. So, when got the dog food put in the bowl and watched the dog this time kind of in the middle of the field over here," she explained.

She says 15 minutes later, with the help of some kids, she caught the dog.

“So I had her in my lap I was trying to keep her warm and the kids were coming back and they said your car is gone and I said what do you mean it’s gone? We were just there two seconds ago and he said no the car is gone," says Ritter.

She had just bought the 2016 grey Jeep Patriot last Saturday.

It still had the temporary plates on it.

Now it was gone along with all of her personal items and pet supplies for the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach she volunteers with, and the one thing she wants back most.

“But at that minute I was just thinking about the cat that I had my car,” she laments.

Ritter hopes the person that stole her car will drop the cat off at a safe place.

She's offering a $200 reward for the car and the cat.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for her.