An alleged puppy thief was caught on camera outside a La Feria home ringing the doorbell numerous times before making off with a package, and according to the home owner Maria, her two pug puppies.
She said the family is devastated.
"Our family dog of seven years sired these pups, so they were not pups that we were ever going to sell, Maria said. It just so happens the sire passed away the week after, so these were his offspring - they were (my) boys dogs."
Maria said the female "Zuzu" and the male "Buster" are indoor dogs and had recently overcome Parvo.
Given the nice weather on Friday, Maria decided to leave her dogs outdoors in their kennel.
She doesn't know if the package left outside her home attracted the man caught on camera to her home, but Maria believes he took advantage of the situation and is looking to cash-in on her beloved puppies.
"They're living things, they're creatures, they have feelings they bring happiness, they bring joy, Maria said. Dogs are special to many people. This is wrong (and) it needs to be stopped. No matter what the intention was, whether for a pet or for home intrusion, these people need to be caught."
Texas State Representative Eddie Lucio III agrees.
He said this type of crime has become way too common because the penalty puppy criminals face is minimal.
That's why he's bringing House Bill 279 - the "Puppy Theft Bill," back to the table this legislative session.
He TMs proposing a tougher, state jail felony punishment for puppy thieves.
"If I go adopt a puppy from the animal shelter at $65 and that puppy becomes my family TMs best friend - my little girl, she's 3 years old she grows up with that dog " four or five years from now someone comes on to my property, to my home and takes my family's best friend, and all I can do is go to a (Justice of the Peace's) office and sue that individual for $65? I think that's not justice."
The bill failed in the past because Lucio III said it was too general, but this time around it will focus mostly on dogs in hopes it will pass this session.
Zuzu TMs tail curls to the left and she drinks a lot of water; Buster TMs tail curls to the right .
They are about 15 weeks old and anyone with information is asked to contact the La Feria Police Department at 956-797-3121.
There is a reward for the safe return for the puppies TM safe return.