As soon as she walked through the door, she knew something was missing. And when her dog wasn’t there to greet her, she knew something was wrong. Her eyes moved to her boyfriend’s smug face as he leaned in the doorway, and a wave of worry washed over her. Almost too afraid to ask, she stammered: “…where’s Ella?”
Ashley Farley had just moved to Canyon County, California from Reno, Nevada. She had hoped to pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer. But with friends and family far away, a profound sense of loneliness began to sink in for the 25-year-old. So when she met Ella, a sable-colored Pomeranian puppy, it was love at first sight.
She named her new pup Ella, after the famous female vocalist Ella Fitzgerald, and the pair was soon inseparable. Ella was the perfect medicine for Ashley’s loneliness. “As soon as I saw her, I just felt this connection that I’ve never felt with any other dog I’ve had,” Ashley recalls. But was their relationship safe?
Around the same time, Ashley Farley had also made a positive connection with a romantic interest, and they had been dating for about 3 months. With everything going swimmingly, she was sure she would achieve her dreams with her wonderful boyfriend and beloved Ella by her side. But she didn’t see her boyfriend’s true nature until it was too late.
Ashley and her new love interest, Solomon Carter, maintained their relationship even when it was difficult for her to find the time. She had a full-time job and had dedicated all her spare time to her budding music career. Still, she was determined to make the relationship work. When Solomon told her that he was coming to visit her at her Santa Clarita home, she was over the moon.
Ashley’s dream became her worst nightmare when Solomon came to visit, but she could never have predicted what he was about to do. On June 11th, she left early for work as usual. She kissed him goodbye and reassured Ella that she would be home soon. Little did she know, she may never see her puppy again.
As soon as Ashley was out the door, Solomon began to scheme. He knew that she loved her puppy more than anything, and decided to hit her where it would hurt the most. He knew Ashley would be heartbroken if anything ever happened to Ella. He fired up his laptop and got to work on his malicious plan.
Ashley watched the clock as it crept to 5 o’ clock. She couldn’t wait for the workday to be over. All she wanted to do was relax with dinner and a movie with her man. Driving home, she hummed a love song. She finally felt like her life was on track. She jiggled her house key into the lock, but what was waiting behind that door was about to shatter her world.
Stepping through the doorway, Ashley immediately knew that something was wrong. “That’s strange,” she thought. Usually, Ella would hear her car pulling up and be waiting to greet her. She called for her, and then she saw Solomon standing in the hallway. What he’d done was written all over his face. “Where’s Ella?” she asked quietly.
Solomon looked at her and smiled wryly. Ashley felt her world falling apart when he told her what he’d done. “He looked at me with the most spiteful smile that I’ve ever seen someone give anybody,” Ashley told CBS 2. “He said ‘babe, I sold her while you were at work today and it’s over. I’m leaving you.’”
Ashley’s heart broke when she heard what her boyfriend had done. She immediately got onto Craigslist to see if she could find the advert that he had posted. When she saw the lies he’d written her blood ran cold. “Trying to find a new home for my gorgeous little princess,” the ad read. “Just got a new job, so I have to move across the country and my new place does not allow dogs of any kind.” Would Ashley ever see Ella again?
Without the name of the buyer who had bought Ella for $600, she had nothing to go on. She did the only thing she could do – she took to Facebook. “I am trying to do all I can to find my sweet baby girl. I am so worried about her & miss her more than words. I have been so heartbroken & devastated about this whole thing. PLEASE help me find my baby. I would really really appreciate it!” she wrote in a desperate post.
To her surprise, her post went viral. Everyone was stunned at how her ex-boyfriend had treated her and could not believe that someone could be so malicious. Soon, local news stations had caught wind of the story. They sent out her appeal, hoping that someone would know the couple who had bought Ella. But more than a week went by, and there were still no leads.
After enduring this kind of betrayal and manipulation, Ashley said: “I can’t explain the empty feeling I felt and how I felt. My heart just dropped to the bottom of my stomach.” She added: “I felt like a hole had been punctured through my heart, like part of me was missing.” But would she ever be reunited with her puppy?
Ashley continued to take interviews and post on Facebook. She wasn’t going to give up so easily. Even after the traumatic breakup and her boyfriend’s vile behavior, she stayed strong. She had a message for Ella’s new family: “I am devastated and if you are or know the person of whom she is with please contact me. I love her more than words can describe and if you have a heart and have dogs you will understand how heartbreaking this is for me.”
“I can prove ownership of her and the breeder has even said she will speak on my behalf that she sold the dog to ME & that she is MY dog. I have already registered her microchip and have contacted all vets & microchip company about her being stolen. I am also filing a police report for my stolen property. PLEASE if you have seen her or have her please contact me. I am willing to pay you for her. I just want my baby girl back. Please.” She was beginning to lose hope when she got the call.
On the 20th of June, 9 days after Ella had been sold on Craigslist by Ashley’s spiteful ex-boyfriend, she got the call she had been hoping for. A couple had seen her story on the news and had come forward. Even more surprisingly, they expected no compensation for Ella – they just wanted to make sure she was returned to her rightful owner.
“They were the nicest couple I’ve ever met,” Ashley told KHTS. But, they had one condition. “They want to see how she is doing and watch her in the future,” Ashley said. In the short time they had known the 5-month-old Pomeranian pup they had fallen in love with her too. But how did Ella feel?
Ashley immediately took Ella to the vet for a checkup, and they were happy to report that she’s in perfect health after her ordeal. The couple who had purchased her had taken good care of her. But if it wasn’t for the power of social media and the local news stations getting onboard, Ashley may never have found her.
“I’m so lucky,” Ashley said tearfully. “If it wasn’t for you (media) guys this would not have happened.” But, one question remains: why did her boyfriend do it? His motivations were unclear. Was it a lover’s spat or couple’s quarrel? What would push him over the edge, enabling him to do something so utterly spiteful? The answer is surprising.
It is reported that Solomon was jealous of the special connection Ella and Ashley shared. And he even went one further to ensure that he shattered her heart. While she was trying to find Ella, he sent her footage of her beloved dog with her new family, saying “Ella is safe and sound in her new home, you’ll never see her again.” As for Solomon, Ashley is happy to report that he is long gone!