Days after her family’s pickup truck, with their two dogs inside, was stolen from outside an Edmonton business, an Athabasca woman hopes attention focused on their case through social media will bring their beloved pets home.

Sheena Rybak said her partner Ashley was driving the truck Monday, and she had their daughter with her, when she stopped at a store on the city’s south side.

“Ashley was in Edmonton on Monday,” Rybak said. “She came in to sell a quad we had posted on sale, and she had about 20 minutes to kill before meeting up with the gentleman, and decided to go into a store on the south side.”

Rybak said Ashley was inside for a few minutes, and when she went back outside the truck was gone.

Edmonton police said the theft was reported Monday, at about 2:30 p.m. The truck was reportedly stolen from a parking lot outside a business in the area of 101 Street and 34 Avenue.

Police said there were two Old English Bulldogs inside the vehicle at the time of the theft, a six-month-old black and white male named Rocky and a three-year-old brown female named Jersey.

The truck is described as a grey 2014 Ford F150, Alberta plate RPA249.

The ATV in the bed of the truck is a black and yellow 2016 Can-Am DS 90 with Alberta plate GDA50.

Edmonton police said the truck was reportedly involved in a hit and run crash in Leduc later Monday. Rybak said the crash took place less than half an hour after Ashley noticed the truck was stolen.

“Within 20 minutes of our truck being stolen it was involved in a hit and run in Leduc,” Rybak said. “Police witnessed the hit and run and were not able to catch the person who stole the truck.”

She said the family drove around Leduc Monday afternoon, to see if the dogs had been released.

After the theft, the family turned to social media to help spread the word – the post had been shared more than 18,000 times as of Wednesday afternoon.

“We know a few people in Edmonton, we thought it would be shared a couple times, and from what I know it’s been shared almost 20,000 times, and it’s been shared all over,” Rybak said. She’s heard their story reached users across the country.

“My fingers are crossed we get our dogs back,” Rybak said.

Edmonton police also shared photos of the dogs, the truck and the ATV on Facebook and Twitter.

“You see these posts go viral very quickly and especially this community, we’re involved in pet rescue and there are dog lovers in Edmonton so I think we’ll see lots of uptake on their post,” EPS spokesperson Cheryl Voordenhout said.

Rybak said a large part of their family is missing, and they hope the added attention helps bring them home.

“We’re pretty lost in the house without them,” Rybak said. “This morning I woke up and thought I heard one of the dogs barking outside, it’s pretty sad.

“All the kids are sad, my daughters are in tears, they are very hopeful with all the coverage about the dogs that we will get them back.”

Anyone with information that could help police is asked to call EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 on a mobile phone.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

With files from Nicole Weisberg