Trend sees expensive purebred dogs mysteriously disappearing across mid-Missouri

Kreed is around two years old. He is a white/cream colored golden retriever. He is a neutered male.

Kreed goes missing

On June 23, 2017, Kelly Kirchner said her world changed. However, she did not know at the beginning of the day how significant that date would end up being to her.

Kirchner owns two dogs: Jane and Kreed. Both dogs are British Cream Golden Retrievers. Jane is Kreed's daughter. The color of the dogs is less common and more unique than most golden retrievers.

On June 23, Kirchner said she began her morning business as usual.

"I turned the dogs out that morning to the bathroom," she said. "They sleep inside at night. Came in got ready for work. Went back out and there were no dogs."

Kirchner said she was not worried. The dogs often roamed around the rural Russellville property. She let her family know the dogs were out, and she headed off to work.

Around noon, she got a call from her family letting her know the dogs still hadn't returned. Worried, Kirchner left work for the day to begin looking.

Hours passed. She spoke to every neighbor, farmer, soul in sight to see if anyone had seen the dogs.

No one had seen a trace of either dog.

The next day, Kirchner found Jane - a then 12-week-old puppy - 10 miles away. Still, no sign of Kreed.

Kirchner said after about a week of searching, she began to worry, perhaps her dog did not run away, but was taken.

"I didn't see someone take him, but he lived here the whole time he's never disappeared from here," she said.

Kim and Lulu

Besides Kirchner, Kim Hansen and her nine-year-old granddaughter, Lulu, are the most passionate people when it comes to the search for Kreed. The first night the dogs were missing, they spent hours driving and calling their names.

The entire summer, they along with Kirchner went door to door passing out flyers, asking anyone and everyone if they had seen Kreed.

Hansen is the mastermind behind #kreedsarmy - a Facebook page created to help track down this furry friend. On the page people post found dogs that look like Kreed, and within a matter of hours, Kirchner and Hansen have someone taking photos at all angles of the dog to see if it could be Kreed.

Kirchner and Hansen have traveled far and wide to verify certain dogs are not Kreed. Kirchner said each time they meet a pup that isn't hers, is heartbreaking.

"We would get our hopes up, and it wouldn't be Kreed," she said.

Hansen is a photographer. She lends her time to photographing animals that need homes, and has taken dozens of photos of Kreed. He is a character. Those who know him classify him as a "fruitloop."

Hansen said watching her granddaughter Lulu help search for this dog has been emotional.

"I don't understand stealing another person's dog," Hansen said. "It's like stealing a child. You just don't do that."

The search continues

It has been eight months since Kreed went missing. Kirchner and Hansen have not wavered. Recently, enough funds were raised to create two billboards for Kreed. Both are located in Jefferson City - one along US Hwy 50 and the other on Hwy 54 westbound.

"Every morning. Every night. Every day. There's not been a day we haven't looked for him, honestly," Kirchner said.

Kirchner said she has not contacted authorities about the missing dog because she does not know for certain if Kreed was stolen. She did say that her gut feeling is someone took her dog, saw the hype grow on social media as they tried to locate him, and then that original person re-homed him.

She said at first, the new family probably was unaware they had someone else's dog, but she hopes they realize and do the right thing.

"My hope is that somebody will see the sign or see this, realize that they have Kreed if they don't already know, do the right thing, because it's like my child," she said. "Safe and sound. I don't care how. I just need him back."

Kreed is not the only one

Through Kreed's Army, Kirchner and Hansen have met dozens of other people who have had their dogs disappear, too. All of them are purebred, expensive dogs. Many follow a pattern: certain breeds would go missing around the same time from the same area.

To see the dogs that seem to be part of this trend, click on the photo gallery.

Determined to bring their boy home

Kirchner said she knows in her heart her sweet friend is out there somewhere. She said when he comes home, they plan to throw a celebration for all of Kreed's Army.

"A lot of people have said he's probably dead and I'm just like, 'you know there's always that chance, but I don't feel that'," she said. "I just don't feel it."

Until that day, Kirchner said, she will not stop looking.

"Do you give up looking for your kid, ever?" she said. "He's not a dog, he's my kid."

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