Port Arthur mother says her son's dog is being held for ransom

A heartbroken mother had to tell her son that his dog was missing.

Tucker is the family dog.  Meghan Vital of Port Arthur said they adopted him from a rescue shelter.  The dog was deaf and was about to be put to sleep, if the shelter didn't find him a family.

Vital says her third grade son Tyson and Tucker were inseparable, and even slept together at night.

Vital says the dog disappeared one day last week after he followed her outside as she took out the garbage.

A few days later, Vital says Karissa Durman called the rescue shelter.  Vital says Durman claimed to have the dog.  Vital told us, "She asked if there was a reward, they told her yes, it was a $100 reward, and she said no, she wasn't giving it back, unless she got $250."

Vital could not believe her ears, their dog was being held for ransom.

Vital said, "I just don't understand how anybody could be that cruel, especially knowing it's a little boy's dog."

We went to talk to Durman, instead we found her mother, who greeted us with profanity and threats.  When we eventually located Durman, she told us, she never had the dog, but admitted calling Vital and asking for a higher reward.

Durman claims her brother Robert Durman stole the dog, and sold the pet for $50, but the brother told us his sister was just deflecting attention off her.

Their landlord, however, says the family had the dog.

Vital says she's filing charges with the police department, and hopes the dog is returned safely.

After our report first aired Tuesday night, Port Arthur police went to the home of the people accused of selling the dog.  While they didn't find Tucker, officers did find out about another dog that they say was sold for dog fighting purposes.  Police rescued that dog and brought it to the little boy who will keep the puppy.

Also while at the home of the person who allegedly sold the dog, police found out the children at that home had not been to school in six months. The Department of Family and Protective Services is investigating why the kids have not been at school.


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