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Police say woman may have thought pug mix was abandoned Detroit Police Department

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Since she was adopted as a stray in 2015, Totem Crow has rarely strayed far from her owner.

Marlena Hanlon often took the pug mix while rehabbing homes for the nonprofit she works with. So last week, while at a property the group is overhauling not far from their residence in southwest Detroit, she let the pet frolic outside another house they’re renovating two doors down in the 1200 block of Hubbard.

A neighbor usually eyes the nearly 4-year-old playful pooch at such times, Hanlon said. But at about 1:50 p.m. May 7, Totem had someone else watching, her owner and police say.

A surveillance camera captured a woman in a pink hooded sweatshirt entering the front yard, removing a leash on the porch then using it to escort the canine out, investigators said in a statement.

Now, city authorities are seeking tips from the public to find the woman accused of taking Totem. And her owner is working to spread the word through Facebook and Craigslist to ensure she’s returned.

“We want her back,” Hanlon said.

Hanlon immediately thought something was amiss when she returned from her work to find the gate open and leash missing. She asked a neighbor who’s taken a liking to the pup if they went for a walk, then frantically scoured the neighborhood to see whether Totem scampered away.

Later, when reviewing footage from the cameras her group installed at its properties, Hanlon spotted the woman entering the yard, petting Totem, then leaving. “I felt like somebody punched me,” she said.

In a statement Thursday, Detroit police acknowledge it’s possible the woman “thought that the dog was abandoned.”

But Hanlon wonders why she failed to recognize the significance of Totem’s Detroit seat belt collar and Michigan Humane Society tattoo, a nod to where the dog was first found.

“They should be clear she has a home where she’s loved,” Hanlon said.

The woman is described as white, age 50-60, with shoulder-length blonde hair. She left the scene in a white SUV, possibly a 2003-04 Chevy Suburban, with a young girl who wore her blonde hair in a ponytail.

Totem is described as a 22-pound pug mix with a unique brindle coat, curly tail, MHS tattoo, dark snout and a white shield or heart on her chest.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Detroit Police Department’s 4th Precinct Unit at (313) 596-5440 or (313) 596-5400.

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