Family hopeful kidnapped pet will be returned

It has been three days since Mack was robbed at gunpoint while out walking his dog, Zen. And even though the two men believed to be responsible for the holdup and dognapping are behind bars, the victim and his wife will not rest until Zen is back home.

“Zen’s birthday is Monday,” Mack told the AJC. “She will be one-year-old.”

Zen joined their family five weeks after she was born. Mack got her from a friend whose two dogs had a litter. He then, in turn, gave her to his wife as a gift.

Suddenly, Zen started having problems keeping her food down. At one point she stopped eating and drinking.

“She is on a medication that helps her keep her food down,” Mack said. “It is like Pepto-Bismol for dogs.”

Mack is afraid she is not getting enough nutrition.

It was about 1:30 a.m. Thursday when Mack was out walking Zen. They were walking in their Post Oak Drive apartment complex in Clarkston when two men approached him trying to make small talk.

Suddenly, one of them pulled a gun, asked for money and took the dog when Mack told them he had nothing to give them.

Sedrick Moore, 49, and LaVont Justice, 26, were arrested a couple of days later, according to Jason Gagnon, DeKalb County police spokesman. They have been charged with armed robbery and are in custody in connection to another robbery that took place the same night Zen was stolen.

Because the men were not disguised, Mack got a good look at them and was able to identify them for police Friday. But since then, he has heard nothing from police about Zen, he said.

“The police told me they would not be getting a bond hearing anytime soon being that they both have extensive criminal records,” Mack said.

Police could not confirm the men’s records or when they could possibly have a bond hearing.

Before police arrested the two, Mack said he could not sleep knowing they were free. The next day around 4 p.m., he believes one of the men passed him in the complex. They exchanged a “knowing look” he said.

“The car was familiar,” he said.

But now that the suspects are behind bars, he is left with nothing but questions. He wonders who Zen is with, or if Zen has been left alone in one of the men’s apartment. He wonders if they got rid of her someplace, leaving her to wonder about, or if someone has found her and is now caring for her.

“If you have no answers, you are stuck to wonder,” he said. “Is anyone feeding her? Is she safe? Where is she?”

But people’s responses have been refreshing. The Zen Mack Facebook page they started now has almost 200 members. People from Chicago, New York, even Croatia have joined the page and communicating with their friends who live in the area to help the Macks find Zen.

So there is hope, despite what Mack calls the “no snitching policy” that many live by.

“It does a disservice to our community. Instead of helping our community, people are protecting criminals by not speaking up,” he said. “Friends have asked me if I am not concerned about retaliation by coming out and speaking about what happened. But I am not. I am going to speak. Someone has to. They have to know they cannot just run the streets.”

If you have information on Zen's whereabouts, call the DeKalb County police.

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