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Stolen Ukiah pitbull rescued following vehicle chase, Geyserville crash

A man will soon be reunited with his stolen dog, thanks to efforts of the California Highway Patrol.

The dog, a two-year-old American albino pitbull named Honey, was stolen along with a Ford F-250 pickup from Mendocino Auto Auction in Ukiah on June 28, where the dog’s owner, Brent Haas, works.

According to Haas, the dog was loaded into the vehicle as the suspect fled the lot in the pickup.

The suspect, Daniel Risch, 38, drove the car to the Cloverdale area, where he failed to yield at a traffic stop, prompting a high-speed pursuit, according to CHP Officer David deRutte said.

After a 20-minute chase, Risch crashed the vehicle into a fence at a Geyserville winery and ran from the scene. He was arrested after a brief foot chase, said deRutte.

Officers called Animal Control for assistance with the dog, who was uninjured in the crash.

Santa Rosa CHP posted photos of its officers playing with Honey on its Facebook page last week.

Haas is still waiting for an appointment with Sonoma County Animal Services to get his dog back but said he is thankful for how the CHP handled the situation.

“You know most [pitbulls] don’t get the chance to show who they really are because of the stereotype they have,” Haas said. “[I’m] more than satisfied with the way they treated her.”

Risch has been charged with stealing a vehicle, possession of stolen property, evading and DUI, deRutte said.

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