One stolen dog back home, but second is still missing


A month after his two dogs disappeared, a Miami banker found one at a Broward animal shelter. He won’t give up until he finds the other.

A father-daughter pair of white Malteses were an integral part of Patrick Orlando’s family.

“They would eat, sleep, bathe with us,” said Orlando. “And then our family was ripped apart.”

After a visit to the veterinarian July 2, Orlando pulled into the Publix supermarket at Mary Brickell Village in downtown Miami. He left the dogs in his car during his 10-minute shopping trip.

When he came out, Orlando found the passenger seat window broken, and the two dogs nowhere to be found.

Distraught, Orlando called police to file a burglary report, the first step of many calls in the next four weeks in his quest to find his missing pets.

“It was a crime of opportunity,” Orlando said. He replays the day over and over again, he said, searching for hints of who could have taken the dogs.

Orlando took three weeks off from his job to wake up at the crack of dawn and post fliers from Little Havana to Brickell Avenue, hoping someone had seen 5-year-old Misha and 7-year-old Bianco.

“I would go to bed at 3 a.m., but still not sleep more than 90 minutes,” Orlando said. “It’s just hard not knowing if they are dead or alive, or who they are with.”

Over the past month, Orlando had seen his hopes crushed as he walked out of animal shelters from Fort Lauderdale to West Kendall with no luck of finding the dogs. He looked at 120 dogs — to no avail.

But Saturday, Orlando got a call from the Broward Humane Society about a white Maltese who responded to the name “Misha.” He rushed to the shelter.

“When she saw me, she froze,” Orlando said.

The owner took a five-pound, disheveled Misha home. Two of her legs had been broken, a hip was dislocated, and she is partially blind. She apparently had been hit by a car. Before leaving the shelter in Dania Beach, she was microchipped.

A Humane Society employee had seen Orlando’s pleas to the community on television, and made the connection with the injured female Maltese that had been brought in July 7 by Opa-locka Fire-Rescue.

Firefighters said the dog had been left in a box, anonymously, outside Station 54.

But Bianco is still missing. Orlando said the eight-pound white Maltese is missing a nail on his front paw and barks nervously when people he doesn’t know approach him. The dog does not have a microchip.

Orlando is offering $3,000 to anyone who finds Bianco, no questions asked. He has already spent just as much, he said, to find them. He hired a private investigator and sent out a paid street-team to hand out fliers.

Bianco and Misha were Orlando’s family long before his marriage to wife Jennifer and the birth of their daughter Francesca, who is 17 months old.

Orlando watched as the two dogs were born in Lima, Peru, when he was still dating Jennifer.

Orlando, now a Brickell banker, even took the dogs with him to work.

“They were so quiet and well-behaved that no one even noticed,” he said Wednesday from his office, with the youngest dog in his arms.

It isn’t the first time crime has hit his family. In 2011, Orlando’s sister, a fashion designer, was found dead in a New York City hotel room. She, also an animal-lover, had two teacup poodles, Pepper and Loli.

“It’s been really hard to cope with losing her, and now I feel like I’ve lost again,” Orlando said.

Anyone with information about Bianco may call 305-432-2218.

Read more Top Stories stories from the Miami Herald

System designer Andy Dobrowolski looks on as the 200,000-gallon tank (actually two connected tanks) at Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters in Marathon is filled.

    Going with the flow: Water trickles into new Florida Keys aquarium

    Watching water trickle slowly into an empty 200,000-gallon fish tank isn't that far off from watching grass grow or paint dry.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">FAMILY BONDS:</span> The De Soto family, Dan, Marilyn and son Matthew, 13, help fill Easter baskets at St. Louis Catholic Church in Pinecrest, on Palm Sunday.  Volunteers from the church filled and delivered 1,800 baskets containing candy and snacks for children and toiletries and personal items for seniors. The church works with charities, hospitals and other churches.

    Easter Sunday

    South Florida faithful approach Easter as a time for service

    In the weeks leading up to Easter, church members have gone into overdrive, making goodie bags for the homeless, filling Easter baskets and distributing food to help those in need.

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, left, and center Chris Bosh watch from the bench during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, April 16, 2014 in Miami. The 76ers defeated the Heat 100-87.


    Greg Cote: Dynasty or dismantling for the Miami Heat?

    A Heat playoff run is the annual gift we slowly unwrap together, our two-month emotional thrill ride ever since LeBron James grandly announced he was “taking my talents to South Beach” that summer night in 2010. Well, buckle up again, South Florida. Prepare for exhilarating highs and work-productivity lows. Prepare for late nights walking drained from the downtown bayside arena. Prepare for hearts to soar or plunge on whether a basketball swishes through a nylon net or bonks off a painted rim.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category