Valley family warns others to lookout after safe return of dog

Josh and Marie Barrett’s seven-month-old English bulldog Nathan went missing on April 10th. Instead of leads, they mostly got scam calls.

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. — A Queen Creek family’s lost dog has returned but is still warning others to be on the lookout.

Josh and Marie Barrett’s seven-month-old English bulldog Nathan went missing on April 10th. The Barretts put up posters all over the area and offered a $2,000 reward for his return.

Instead of leads, the Barretts mostly received scam calls.

“I’d get a text that said ‘I think I have your dog. I want to verify who you are. I’m going to send you something. Just verify with this six-digit code,’” Josh Barrett said. “[Marie] got a call from Nigeria or something.”

“He only wanted $200,” Marie Barrett said. “I guess he didn’t see the real reward that we put out.”

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Eventually, though, another email cam.

“I was like, ‘OK here we go another scam,” Marie said. “But then he sent me a picture, and I just lost it.”

Josh Barrett met a couple, who claimed to be from Anthem, in a church parking lot near the family home. He gave them the reward money and Nathan came bounding out of their car.

“[The couple] said, ‘We found him two days ago in a ditch, and he looked so sad,’” Josh Barrett said.

The Barretts were suspicious there’s no way Nathan, who gets tired after running around the house, would have made it 50 miles away to Anthem.

They also don’t believe a couple from Anthem would have just happened upon their dog in Queen Creek.

“If they weren’t the ones that took him they were obviously involved in it,” Josh Barrett said.

The Barretts don’t have the answers to their questions because that was part of the deal: hand over the dog, no questions asked.

“I’m true to my word. We got our dog. No questions asked,” Josh Barrett said.

But the Barretts also want to warn other dog owners about possibly nefarious elements out there.

“Make sure you’re looking out for your pups,” Josh Barrett said. “Make sure you’ve got locks on your side gates. Hopefully, you have security cameras on the front elevation of your home.”

They said the neighborhood is now watching for anyone who might try to take Nathan or any other dog.

“Don’t do it again. Don’t do it to someone else,” Josh Barrett said. “I know what they look like. I’ve got their license plate. Hopefully, they don’t come back here. Don’t come around here.”

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