‘Bring Sawyer home:’ Dog stolen from soon-to-be nursery in Sanford

They say dog is man’s best friend — but Sawyer is more like family to Towns Ellis and his daughter Madison.

“He was crazy. He was fluffy, like a big teddy bear,” Madison Ellis said.

Towns Ellis, who owns Towns Garden Center in Winter Park, last saw their dog a couple of weeks ago before he was taken.

They’ve since posted “missing dog” flyers around town and even on a building in Sanford that’ll soon be Towns Ellis’ second nursery location.

“We’re focused on making marketing materials for the business meanwhile that all has been halted and we’re putting together missing dog pictures,” Towns Ellis said.

Towns Ellis spends lots of time at the Sanford location as he prepares to open later this fall, and so does Sawyer.

“His favorite thing is to ride in the van and to come to Sanford,” Towns Ellis said.

A couple of weeks ago, Towns Ellis stepped out for an early dinner, leaving Sawyer in the air-conditioned space.

When he came back later that evening, the dog was gone, along with his leash.

Unbeknownst to him, Sanford police came to the building for a distress call while he was away.

“I mean, from the window, you can obviously see there’s multiple water and food bowls,” Towns Ellis said.

Police cleared the call, but that didn’t stop someone from taking matters into their own hands.

Towns Ellis said it is not unusual for Sawyer to be looking out of the window.

“That’s what he does here, he just watches what’s going on,” Towns Ellis said.

But Towns Ellis said someone may have thought he was in distress.

“Maybe they made an assumption that he was locked up in here and he was abandoned,” Towns Ellis said.

For two weeks, he has searched high and low, and police are even following leads.

The family’s plea to whoever took the dog is to just turn him in.

“We just want to bring Sawyer home,” Towns Ellis said.

If you have any information about where Sawyer could be, the family asks that you call 321-946-2230.

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