- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 22, 2016

Police in Charlotte arrested a man this week accused of selling a stranger’s dogs after answering a Craigslist ad for a pet sitter.

Barry Sharpe, 22, was taken into custody by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday and charged with larceny of a dog, a felony, according to public records.

Ekemini Udoh, a University of North Carolina student originally from Nigeria, said she hired Mr. Sharpe to take care of her two dogs in the fall after she unexpectedly wound up in the hospital and couldn’t find anyone to care for her sister poodle mixes, Bella and Rosie.

Ms. Udoh said she posted an ad on Craigslist offering $200 for a pet sitter, and before long received a response from an individual who gave his name as “Jarred.”

Jarred was ultimately given the pet sitting gig, but raised the college student’s suspicions after he called and asked for more money, Ms. Udoh told the Charlotte Journal News back in October.

“As soon as I was discharged, I texted him that I had his money and that I’d like to get the dogs, and he told me he’d bring the dogs to me Thursday, Oct. 10,” she told the newspaper.

“Jarred” never responded, however, and prompted local police to launch an investigation that culminated in the arrest Tuesday of Mr. Sharpe, the supposed dog thief.

Mr. Sharpe of Rock Hill, S.C. was arrested Tuesday afternoon and was initially held on a $2,500 secured bond, according to arrest records. He was no longer listed as an active inmate on the Sheriff’s Office website as of early Thursday afternoon. 

In the meantime, however, Ms. Udoh says she’s still searching for the whereabouts of Bella and Rosie.

“I consider them my children,” she told a local ABC affiliate this week. “If your kid was missing, there’s nothing you wouldn’t do to get them back, and that’s all I want. I just want Rosie and Bella back.”

Police are continuing to search for the student’s two missing dogs, WCNC reported Wednesday. A man claiming to have bought both the pups contacted Ms. Udoh recently after she posted a new Craigslist post detailing her experience, but ceased communications after the student insisted on their return. Others, she said, responded to her Craigslist ad to say that “Jarred” had attempted to sell them the stolen dogs after they went missing.

“This is such incredible pain,” she told the station. “I just can’t do it. Please, please bring them back.”

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