Pet snatched from Fuji Park |

Pet snatched from Fuji Park

F.T. Norton

Every day for five years, Jim Castor has taken his dogs Willi, Beau and Casey to Fuji Park.

While Castor visits with other dog owners in the shade of the cottonwood trees, his three pups play on the grass.

The park rules are that dogs can be off a leash after 2 p.m., and Castor obliges his furry friends.

But Thursday, things went horribly wrong.

Castor’s black and white shih tzu, Willi, went missing. And so did a young couple who left in such a hurry, Castor said, they didn’t bother to take the steak and hamburger they were grilling under the gazebo.

“I saw Willi wandering over by the gazebo, then I turned away. I was talking to this other fellow maybe two or three minutes. When I turned around again there was nobody over there, and the barbecue was still smoking and I didn’t see my dog,” said Castor late Thursday afternoon during his second visit to search the park.

For an hour Castor and three others “scoured every part of this park.” They never found Willi. And that couple never came back for the food, he said.

“I’m heartbroken,” said Sandy, Castor’s wife of 33 years.

Yesenia Estrada said she was at the park with her children when she saw the woman in the gazebo feeding meat to some of the dogs that were running around.

“The dog that they are mentioning was right there the whole time,” she said.

Estrada did not see the woman take Willi, but she noted that the couple drove off in a maroon GMC Sierra pickup with a shell.

During the search, a young couple at the park dug through the trash near the grill and found a partially burned Tahoe Daily Tribune newspaper they suspect the couple used to light the fire.

Sandy wondered if that meant the alleged dognappers are from Tahoe.

The Castors hope that the couple will come forward to report what they saw. They also hope that anyone else who saw their “baby boy” will send them an e-mail.

They said they will ask no questions, they just want their dog back.

Willi is 6 years old. He is mostly black with a white patch just behind his shoulders and another on his chest. He has a standard shih tzu’s curled tail and underbite.


Anyone with information on Willi’s whereabouts can contact the Castors at