ATHENS, Ga. - A University of Georgia students hopes that a reward announced Monday 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 lightbulb 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.
"I mean, a bulldog is an expensive breed, but you know, it becomes your pet. They become a part of your family and you don't look at them and see a dollar sign, you know. You look at [them] and see a companion. You see basically your child," Bell said.
The Facebook page Bring Chapel Home has served as a hub for updates about the case. On Monday, they announced a $3,000 reward for Chapel's safe return, no questions asked.
"I hate the fact that you even have to offer money to get, you know, a part of your family back, but we're willing to do that and we will do that when she's returned safely," Bell explained.
Anyone with information about Chapel can call Athens-Clarke County Police or 423-593-9406.