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LA STAMPA

Dognapped!? Russian Tycoon Offers Top Cash For Pooch Vanished From Genoa Hotel

A prized Russian Toy Terrier pure breed has gone missing at a 5-star hotel in the Italian port city. The owner, a Russian chemicals tycoon, has put up 10,000 euros to have his skinny pup back -- and demanded lie-detector tests for hotel employees.

Russian Toy Terrier
Russian Toy Terrier

Worldcrunch NEWSBITES

GENOA – We know, more or less, what Johnny looks like? He's small, with skinny legs, big ears, short, black hair; and, more or less, when and where he was last seen: the afternoon of August 17, in a luxury hotel room in the center of the this Italian port city.

Johnny is a Russian Toy Terrier owned by the family of Stanislav Rybchinsky, a Russian chemicals tycoon. The family purposefully planned a sojourn of their summer vacation at the Grand Hotel Savoia in Genoa, knowing it is both super-deluxe for the humans and dog-friendly for their beloved pup. But on Aug. 17, around 1.30 p.m., the Rybchinskys left the hotel and left the dog - who was feeling sick - alone in the room. When they came back at 6 p.m., Johnny was gone.

The Rybchinskys contacted the Italian police, the Russian consulate in Genoa and the embassy in Rome. They demanded that all hotel staff take a lie detector test, a request they were not granted, and offered a reward of 10,000 euros to anyone who found the missing dog. So far the search has been futile, though several people came by with other Toy Terriers, before being turned away by the family who could not be fooled.

According to Pierluigi Castelli, of the Genoa Italian Dog Association, Johnny may have been stolen by homeless people for use when begging for change on the sidewalk. Castelli alerted the local vets and the other 103 branches of the Italian Dog Association. Still, no Johnny.

Read the full article in Italian by Pierangelo Sapegno

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