Valuable Show Dogs Stolen Prior to Dog Show

Show dogs worth $500,000 are stolen just before a dog show and the owners are frantically searching for their prized pets. INSIDE EDITION has the story.

A heartbroken woman pleads for the return of her 4 stolen show dogs—worth more than half a million dollars!

"Just give the dogs back to me somehow. Just drop them off at an animal shelter or at a vet," pleads Kristina Rickhard.

One dog named Trace is a superstar of the international dog show circuit. He's the world's number 2-ranked Akita.

Owner Kristina Rickhard says the van where the dogs were sleeping was stolen in the middle of the night. She's competing in a prestigious dog show in Long Beach, California, one of the largest in the nation.

Dog shows have never been more popular, with the legendary Westminster Kennel Club dog show attracting millions of viewers each year.

Her boyfriend David Peck explained why some of the dogs were in the van.

"The dogs that were in the van have a thick dense coat. In the room they'd be panting and hot, and going through tons of water. It was better for them to be in the cool environment," explained Peck.

Trace and another Akita named Didi, as well as 2 Corgis, Bunny and Peter, are all missing. Today, handwritten signs are plastered across the area, and police are ready to charge the dognappers with grand theft.

As difficult as it is for Kristina, the show must go on. Her 3-year-old Parson Russell Terrier, Crush, is competing today. He's one of their 3 dogs that was not stolen.