Local woman accused of stealing dog later found dead appears in court

·2 min read

Supporters wanting justice for Nani Nyx, the dog found dead after being taken by a dog-sitter, gathered outside a Harrison City courtroom Tuesday morning while the woman accused of stealing the dog earlier this month appeared in front of a judge.

The Hodgdon family says they left their 1-year-old German Shepherd in the care of 29-year-old Molly Bureau on July 1 while they went on vacation.

When they returned, neither Bureau nor Nani could be found.

“Pets are family, and to do this to someone’s family is wrong,” said Connie Detar, who was among Nani Nyx’s supporters outside court.

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In Tuesday’s hearing, a Trafford police officer testified that railroad workers spotted the dog dead near train tracks in Braddock on July 2, a day after Hodgdon turned the dog over to Bureau.

The deceased dog was officially identified as Nani two weeks later.

“Words can’t describe the grief that they’re having,” said Detar. “To lose a member of your family when you’re coming back from vacation, and you thought the dog was going to be there to give you the love that it’s always given you, and it’s not there and then you find out it’s dead, someone has to be held accountable.”

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Bureau declined to speak with 11 News.

She did not speak in court either.

Bureau pleaded not guilty to three felony charges: theft, deception and receiving stolen property. The third charge was added in court Tuesday.

Outside the courthouse, supporters of Nani had plenty to say.

Detar shared a pointed message for Bureau.

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“Why would you do this to a poor, innocent dog? This dog never hurt you. Never,” she said. “All it wanted was love, and that was one thing that you don’t know and could never give.”

Bureau is being held at the Westmoreland County Prison.

On Tuesday, the judge increased her bond to $25,000.

She’s due back in court Sept. 28.

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