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Car stolen with pets inside, owner puts out desperate plea to find them

Jessie Sleep, who is in Columbus on vacation, had her truck stolen at{ } a South Columbus Family Dollar store with her dog and cat inside. She's now offering a $500 reward for anyone who finds them. (WSYX/WTTE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- A Wyoming woman visiting Columbus is putting out a desperate plea to find her pets after her car was stolen with them inside.

Jessie Sleep, who is in Columbus visiting her boyfriend's family, decided to run into the Family Dollar on Harrisburg Pike in south Columbus on Friday to pick up a treat and a toy for Taz, her new cat. She said she went inside for only ten minutes with Taz and her dachshund, Marlie, inside her car.

"It was a little bit warm so I thought, 'just leave it running for the air conditioning for the animals,'" said Sleep.

When she came back out the spot was empty.

"I just dropped my stuff and I called 911," she said.

It was a nightmare: her car and her pets were gone. Then Monday, everything got worse. Her car was found all the way in rural Perry County, but Marlie and Taz were not inside.

"I am just afraid they dumped them out somewhere on the side of the road," said Sleep. "I just don't want them to be hurt. I just hope nobody hurt them."

She said she is desperate. Signs are now up offering a $500 reward.

"No questions asked," said Sleep. "I just want my animals back. I don't care."

She said until she finds her two "babies" she won't be going home to Wyoming.

Sleep said Marlie the dog is microchipped and now flagged as missing. Marlie is a dachshund mix that is about 30 pounds. Taz is a small, gray cat with white paws.

If you've seen these animals, you can call the station at 614-481-6659.

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