BUFORD — Hall County School Counselor, Sonia Stewart was the victim of a home break-in that occurred at her Buford residence off of Jimmy Dodd Road. Thieves took a lot but the one thing they stole that was the most precious to her was her beloved dog.
Wicket, an eleven-year-old Pomeranian/papillon mix, served as a therapy dog for students at Chestnut Mountain Elementary School. “[He] isn’t just an amazing dog to me,” said Sonia Stewart, Wicket’s owner, “but to the children that I work with.”
Of the break-in, Stewart recalls arriving home around 11:15 A.M. on March 22 to find the garage door open. When she entered her home, she noticed “Wicket wasn’t at the door to greet [her]” and that her television, among other things, was missing. After checking every room and closet, Stewart’s “heart crumbled.” She knew Wicket was gone.
“I am heartbroken and still devastated that someone would be so spiteful and mean to take someone’s beloved pet,” she said. “A dog that not only have I trained and built a bond with, but who provides comfort, security, care, and unconditional love to as many students as possible.”
Wicket also provided joy for Chestnut Mountain teachers, staff, and parents, and was lovingly referred to as the school’s mascot. During the school’s transition to online classes due to the coronavirus outbreak, Wicket joined Stewart on video calls with students who signed up to read to the dog.
“I had to cancel all the reads for this week because he’s no longer with me,” said Stewart.
The Gwinnett County Police Department is actively investigating the burglary. According to the police report, neighbors observed that Stewart’s garage door was open at 10:00 A.M., but there was no car inside. As none of the nearby houses have video doorbells, there is no video surveillance available.
Stewart hopes that anyone with information concerning Wicket’s disappearance will come forward and help bring him home.
“Anyone that knows [Wicket] has fallen in love with him,” said Stewart. “Every day, I wake up and see that he’s not next to me. I am utterly devastated and hurt that my personal pet and assistant to kids and others has been removed from my life in a single crime over ridiculous electronics.”
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact the Gwinnett County Police Department.