MONTREAL -- The pandemic has led many Quebecers to seek companionship by getting a furry companion, but as prices for dogs soar, some are fearing that missing pooches may actually have been stolen.

The Turner family has been scouring the Laurentians for their missing six-month-old golden-doodle named Marlowe. Marlowe went missing on Jan. 2 after she was let out into their yard. The family has even gone as far as to involve a helicopter and a bloodhound to help in the search.

Ava Turner acknowledged that Marlowe may have simply run away but “the other possibility is that she may have been picked up by somebody on the main road.”

Alexandre Nadeau, who lives in Beauce, has a similar story. He let his retriever Max out to run while he put on his boots. Within 15 minutes, Max was gone.

After posting about his loss on social media, Max was reported found in an empty field nearby. He has since been returned home.

Monteregie SPCA founder Linda Robertson said the demand for adoptions has skyrocketed during the pandemic.

“We get calls every day, lots of messages left looking for a big dog, looking for a small dog,” she said.

On Kijiji, prices for some dogs are in the thousands of dollars. While Quebec provincial police said they have received no reports of stolen dogs thus far in 2021, there are at least five notices of stolen dogs on the website.

“I never would have expected that people could be so horrible, especially while we're going through this situation,” said Turner. “It's the hardest thing any of us have gone through in our entire lives.”