OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Missing Richmonder Bagel, who has not been seen since last June, has been found safe, authorities said.
Bagel the beagle’s popularity in the Richmond community came to a peak after thousands of “missing dog” posters were hung around the city, resulting in memes, Halloween costumes, Facebook groups, and even works of art and music, all dedicated to the lost pup. Witnesses in Okeechobee, Florida reportedly saw a white and brown beagle, whose description matched that of the famed Bagel, wearing Oakley sunglasses and a Ron Jon t-shirt.
However, when probed, the dog claimed to be an Atlanta native named Muffin.
Okeechobee resident Francesca Nevill claims her suspicions were first aroused when she saw the beagle donning a Washington Redskins bandana shortly after arriving in town. “When I saw Muffin wearing that, I knew something was off,” Nevill said. “Why would anyone from Georgia be wearing Redskins gear? It just didn’t add up.”
Nevill spent weeks investigating the matter, spending hours on sites like WebSleuths.com and combing through missing persons cases, with hopes of piecing it together. Her determination finally paid off when she stumbled upon the “Bagel Beagle” Facebook page, which was flooded with pictures of the dog who had introduced himself as “Muffin.”
After police were notified, Bagel was taken to the Okeechobee Sheriff’s Office for questioning. After six grueling hours, investigators were able to get a signed confession from Bagel. He was then fined for fraudulently using a false identity but was ultimately given no further punishment due to the unmalicious nature of his crime.
When asked to comment, Bagel said, “I do not regret my move to Florida. What’s not to love about this state? There’s no income tax, a Publix on every corner, the best damn stone crabs you’ll ever eat, and need I even mention the weather? For a long time, I’ve just felt like I needed to start over. As Bagel, I was always sitting around, waiting for life to happen. But as Muffin, I wake up every morning and do what I want to do. It’s like, for the first time in my life, I finally feel alive.”
Bagel/Muffin was reportedly last spotted in Orlando, enjoying a Milk-Bone in the shape of Mickey Mouse.