UPDATE: On September 20 the owner of the dog was contacted by a New Haven woman, who said she had found the white poodle. The dog owner met with the woman and was reunited with her dog.

EARLIER ARTICLE: Betty Barriga of Seymour is sitting by her phone waiting for someone to call and say they have her dog. Delilah, her five-year-old white poodle, was reportedly stolen from a car parked at the Westfield mall in Milford Saturday evening.

Barriga said she left Delilah in her car, which was parked in a shaded garage near Macy’s at about 6 p.m. It was a cool evening, and she left the dog in the car with the windows partially rolled down, a bowl of water and some food.

When she returned at about 7 p.m., she found her dog was missing.

Barriga said she’s gotten some criticism for leaving her beloved dog in the car, but she said the night was relatively cool, and she and her mother were going to take Delilah for a walk after a stop at the mall.

“It was a last-minute decision,” Barriga said, fighting back tears.

In addition to food and water, Barriga even packed her dog’s sweater in case it was chilly on their planned evening walk.

Barriga said the car doors were locked, so she guesses someone reached in and unlocked a door. Also missing was Delilah’s dog bed, which Barriga had in the car.

Police told her that mall security cameras did not record the area where she was parked.

Barriga’s mother is visiting her, and her mother had given her Delilah as a gift five years ago. Since then, the dog has been Barriga’s fairly constant companion. Barriga even signed Delilah up to be a therapy dog at Griffin Hospital, where she has helped cheer patients.

Delilah is described as a white poodle, female, with a pink spot on her nose, 12 pounds and approximately 12 inches tall. She was wearing a pink collar with rhinestones on it.

“I can’t believe anyone would take my dog,” Barriga said. “I’m still shocked someone did that. I hope whoever it is that they are treating her well, but they need to know this is not the way to go about getting a pet.”

The distraught pet owner has posted fliers, called the police numerous times and spread the word through the Internet.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Delilah is asked to contact Police Officer Kyle Magnan at 203-878-6551, email kmagnan@ci.milford.ct.us or visit milfordpd.org and click on “Crime Tips” to report the information.