BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – It's bad enough thieves stole a family's dog, but the kicker is they left a note explaining why.
Adriana Perez has her hands full with three daughters ... 14-, 2- and 4-months-old. Then, there's Aspen, an Alaskan Husky. He's like the son she never had.
"He likes it when you give him ice cream," said Adriana, Aspen's owner.
So where's Aspen now?
"I looked out the window, he wasn't there," said Anna Karen Lugo, Adriana's daughter. "I started crying like crazy."
Perez needs your help to find him.
So far, she has posted signs on a busy stretch of roads throughout Berrien County, in addition to huge signs in front of her yard that read "Please bring back our dog you stole."
The thieves left a letter in the doghouse explaining why they did it.
"To leave a letter, it was a slap in the face," said Perez.
So what did the letter say? It explains dogs are pack animals and need to be around other dogs or humans, Aspen should not have been in a pen or on a chain, because a dog in a pen is 'incredibly lonely', and that Aspen should not have to live outside in extreme cold or heat.
"Who would do such a thing to someone with family and kids," questioned Anna Karen.
WSBT News confirmed Berrien County Animal Control conducted welfare checks on Aspen ... three times in two years.
No checks were conducted this year.
"They saw him," said Perez. "He was well taken care of."
Animal Control Director Val Grimes said agents found no signs of neglect or abuse.
"Absolutely no issues," said Grimes. "Aspen was in good condition"
Upon checks, Aspen had food and lots of water."
"Obviously we were doing something right," said Perez. "We were taking care of him."
WSBT asked Perez if she believes she'll ever see Aspen again. She said she's hoping and praying.
"We hope whoever took him can see he is missed," she said. "It's hard."
If you know where Aspen is or who took him, please call the Berrien County Sheriff's Department at 269-983-7141.