ATHENS, Ga. - A University of Georgia graduate hopes that an increased reward will finally bring his beloved pet back.
R.L. Bell came home a little after midnight July 13 to discover someone had smashed a windowpane out of his back door and made their way inside.
"I came in the living room and like, nothing seems to be gone and I go in my room and Chapel's crate's empty," recalled Bell.
Chapel is Bell's 18-month-old, pure bred, English bulldog, who he named in honor of a UGA campus landmark.
"It was kind of like a light bulb moment," said Bell. "My friend Taylor, he was like, 'You've got to name her Chapel.' Because since my last name's Bell, he was like, 'She can be Chapel Bell.'"
Bell posted about his missing dog on Facebook and so far, people have shared that post nearly 5,000 times. The Facebook page Bring Chapel Home has served as a hub for updates about the case. This week they announced an increased reward of $5,000 if she is returned safely by Sunday, August 21, no questions asked.
"This isn't about money for us. You know, I mean, we would do anything to get Chapel back. We've done everything we can think of to try to get her back," said Bell. "You know, people just keep telling me, you're living my worst nightmare, you know, and I'm so thankful for the support we've received and so grateful for that. But at the same time, Chapel's still not home so there's still work to be done."
Bell encourages whoever has possession of Chapel to call Georgia English Bulldog Rescue at 770-490-1471 to arrange an anonymous exchange.