He Was Left In The Store Parking Lot With A Bag Of Dog Food

When Jason Diggs came downstairs from tucking in his baby, his dog was gone.

Not long after that, he came across a disturbing image of Tyson on Facebook.

The pit bull was photographed at the end of a short rope outside a dollar store - his sole company, a bag of dog food.

"I had no idea where to look," he tells The Dodo. "I had no idea even what side of town to look. Until I saw that post."

Diggs says his in-laws, who were never fans of Tyson, stole him. And abandoned him. Trouble is, now Tyson is missing.

"He's my dog," Diggs says. "I just want to make sure he's all right."

Diggs says he has canvassed the Bakersfield, California, neighborhood, even asking local homeless people if they have seen Tyson. Now the hunt for the beleaguered pit bull has gone nationwide.

Somehow, the dog managed to break free of the rope. And yet, he refused to move. Instead, the dog with loyalty as extraordinary as it is heartbreaking, remained, literally, at his post.

And then, shortly after staff at the 99 Cent store brought him a bowl of water, Tyson disappeared, along with his bag of food.

Did a good Samaritan pick up this dog? Or, did he wander off on his own?

The Bakersfield Pitty Rescue Crew, a group that works with neglected animals in the area, confirmed through Facebook that they had no contact with the dog.

"I think when a dog goes missing, we get about 60 calls," Amy Klein of Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue, told The Dodo. But they, too, have not seen the dog.

So where in California is Tyson?

Rapid Response Team to Animals, who has been investigating, suggests two unsettling possibilities.

"The dog was either put down due to [a] car crash or rescued after being in shelter," the group told The Dodo.

In any case, it's a tragic testament to the disposability of dogs in America.

According to a new study from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), more than 1 million American households give up their pets every year. Tyson's owner, Jason Diggs, admits to having been searching for a home for his dog before he disappeared.

"At first, I needed to find him a good home," he says. "I was urgently looking to find him a good home. I couldn't keep him here at the house anymore."

Jason Diggs

Jason Diggs

The story, since it was posted on Saturday, has been shared thousands of times. Many have gone even further, calling animal control and police in Bakersfield. In fact, this sorry image has brought social media sleuths and animal lovers together - people from both Canada and the U.S. with no ties, save for an image posted on Facebook.

"We all have our purpose in life and my calling is to help animals," Montreal resident Melissa Di Stefano tells The Dodo. Di Stefano has been reaching out to various agencies in California since seeing the post. "I would do anything possible to help any animal in need that's in this world."

"We just are concerned for this poor soul that was dumped so heartlessly and we just want to make sure he's all right or if he needs help we will try to find a solution."

She isn't alone. In fact, she has struck up a fast friendship with another social media sleuth, Arizona resident Elaine Ramirez, who has also been trying to solve the sad case of the dog in the night.

"We haven't stopped for hours trying to find out info," Di Stefano says. "Not for one second."

Indeed, everyone seems to be looking to solve the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime.

That's a heartening development, at least, for a dog who appears to be sorely missing a hero.