MIDLAND COUNTY, Texas (Nexstar) – It’s been a love story between Shelly and her 1-year-old mixed terrier, Coonie.
“She’s my child. She went everywhere with me,” said Shelly Hallmark.
Coonie slept in Shelly’s bed, was invited to family lake trips, and enjoyed an occasional Slim Jim meat snack. Shelly’s relationship with her puppy, Coonie, has been picture perfect.
But on May 5, Shelly, who owns a construction company, stopped by Lowes off Loop-250 in Midland to pick up supplies.
“I had to get 3 carts of supplies. So, I cracked the windows on the truck,“ Shelly said.
When Shelly was inside Lowes, she said Coonie managed to get out.
Shelly blames a faulty power window switch in the truck that allowed the window to roll down, when the window should have been locked. Shelly said she was unaware of this potential cause for malfunction before she went inside. Her daily truck is in the shop. This truck was a loaner.
“I’m assuming she went to bark at someone, stood on it, and jumped out the window.”
With Coonie missing, photos of the pup have been placed on missing flyer sheets, posted around Midland and on social media.
“This is exactly what I would do if I lost my daughter or my son… I would not stop,“ Shelly said.
Coonie weighs approximately 40 pounds. She is brown with a speckled gray chest and one gray speckled front leg.
“She has an extremely long, freakishly long tail with a black tip,” Shelly said.
Shelly has spent the past the week searching far and wide for her best friend. It has been an extremely tiring and emotional process. To make matters worse, Shelly said something disturbing happened.
“Friday night it started. I got a message from someone saying ‘I have your dog,’” Shelly recounts.
At first, she thought someone really found Coonie. But it quickly became apparent, after texting the sender, it was an attempt to earn the reward. The text sender grew hostile, eventually saying, “Hope you find you a new dog.”
Shelly showed the image of Coonie that she was sent.
“You can tell it’s fake. She super imposed it to pretend she had my dog… Wanted me to cash app her the thousand dollar reward before she would tell me where my dog was,” Shelly said.
Another message asked Shelly for a Google verification number before she could see her dog in a text message photo. The sender never sent a photo of Coonie.
The sender would ultimately say: “I think you aren’t the owner.”
Shelly is offering a $1,000 reward for her pup. She thinks the reward may be prompting some to try and scam her. Regardless, Shelly wants Coonie back and hopes a cash reward would incentivize another local to bring Coonie home.
Shelly can be reached at 432-260-0166.
Shelly said, despite the seemingly-nefarious messages, she has received a lot of support online and from local agencies like Midland Fire Department and the U.S. Postal Service in efforts to locate Coonie.