Dog stolen from firefighter's yard: 'Meathead ... was my kid'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Firefighter Larry Merrill came home from work early Tuesday morning to find that his beloved dog Bandit -- whom Larry had nicknamed "Meathead" -- was missing from the back yard.

After a thorough inspection of the yard Merrill could find no evidence that his 3 and a half-year-old English Bulldog had made a daring escape. That lead Larry to the conclusion that someone took Meathead from his yard during his overnight shift.

Since Tuesday, Merrill has filed a report with Eugene Police, posted hundreds of fliers and searched thousands of Craigslist ads, all in the hopes that Meathead can be returned safely.

"I am assuming that someone thought they could take him and maybe get rid of him," said Merrill. "I've been searching Craigslist from Seattle to California."

While he suspects that the dog-napper might have taken the pooch to make a profit, Larry said that there is no monetary value that can be put on a family member.

"My kid has one week with me and one week with his mom. And when he is with his mom that week Meathead, or Bandit was my was my kid." said Merrill.

Another reason for why Merrill is desperate to find his dog is because Meathead has been missing the medication he was prescribed to take daily. Merrill said that without it he will need to be in a veterinary clinic soon.

Meathead's puppy companion, Lily the Dachshund, is also heartbroken over his disappearance.

However there is still one more family member about the incident. Larry has to break the news to his son when he picks him up for their time together, something he said will be no walk in the park.

"Yeah, he will find out tonight," said Merrill. "I'll talk to him when the time is right."

Merrill said that if the person who took Meathead can bring him back with no questions asked. He just wants his dog to come home.