A Pittsburgh area couple was shocked to discover their 1-year old Goldendoodle, Cecil, had eaten $4,000 in cash they had withdrawn from the bank to pay for home repairs and Christmas gifts.
Dog Munches Money Off Counter
Jackie and Ben Noll had taken out $4,000 in $100 bills from their local bank on December 23rd to pay contractors who were working on renovations to their Pittsburgh home, according to reports. They placed the cash on their kitchen counter when they returned home. At some point during the day, Cecil jumped up and helped himself to the stack of bills.
“It was only about 15 minutes Max that we left him, and we came back and the money was gone,” Jackie Noll told local station WTAE.
The Nolls searched all around the house but could not find the missing money. That’s when they noticed Cecil acting strange and lethargic.
“He typically bounces off the walls, and he was just moping around,” Noll said.
It slowly dawned on the couple that Cecil had eaten the entire stack of $100 bills.
Owners Launch Operation Poop Patrol
With $4,000 missing and evidently inside their dog’s belly, the Nolls knew they would have to take drastic measures to get their cash back. So they donned gloves and set up a stakeout – dubbed “Operation Poop Patrol” – in their backyard to sift through Cecil’s droppings.
“We pulled the floodlights out back, set up a table and chairs, and just were ready to go with the gloves and the baggies,” Jackie Noll said.
Over the next few days the couple collected and inspected all of Cecil’s poop, looking for any signs of chewed up cash. Finally on December 27th – Christmas evening – their efforts paid off.
“I grabbed a poop bag, turned the flashlight on my phone, opened it up and just busted out laughing,” Noll told WTAE. “Hundreds everywhere, just everywhere.”
The couple recovered $1,700 from that single bowel movement. Over the next two weeks they ended up retrieving a total of $3,500 of their money from Cecil’s excrement.
Origin of the Cash
According to Jackie Noll, the $4,000 in $100 bills came from a withdrawal the couple made at a Pittsburgh branch of Clearview Federal Credit Union on December 23rd. Noll said they took out the money to pay for several contracting jobs around their house as well as to buy Christmas presents.
“We’re doing work at the house so we had to take out money for the contractors,” Noll explained in an interview with KDKA-TV. “We have to order things for the renovation online so it has to be cash.”
Records from Clearview Federal Credit Union show the Nolls made a $4,000 cash withdrawal on the morning of December 23rd. The bank also confirmed that the recovered bills turned over to the US Secret Service later matched the serial numbers on the bills withdrawn by the couple.
Outcome and Aftermath
All in all, the Nolls recovered $3,500 of their $4,000 from sifting through Cecil’s droppings over two weeks. The remaining $500 was presumably too mutilated during digestion to identify or recover.
Once they had collected all identifiable cash, the couple placed the soiled money in a Ziploc bag and turned it over to the US Secret Service. The Secret Service handles all cases of damaged currency in the United States. Damaged money is eventually sent to the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing for verification. If deemed legitimate, the Treasury then issues a check to the owner for full value.
So in the end, the Nolls expect to get all their cash back from the ordeal thanks to the Secret Service money redemption process. The US Treasury says they handle several similar “dog eat money” cases every year. The process of verifying damaged currency and issuing new checks typically takes up to two months.
As for Cecil, he has fully recovered from his expensive snack. Though after shelling out over $4,000 in cash the Nolls say they will be keeping a much closer on their mischievous pooch going forward.
Cash Eating Dogs More Common Than You’d Think
While shocking, Cecil the dog’s cash eating caper is not as rare as you might expect. According to the US Treasury, around 60 pets eat their owner’s money each year severely enough to require redemption for damaged bills. The majority of those are dogs.
Crisp new bills apparently have an alluring scent and flavor that proves irresistible to some dogs. The Treasury redeems mutilated cash to the tune of $30 million per year on average. So money-eating dogs are costing US taxpayers several million annually.
Though it doesn’t top Cecil the Goldendoodle’s $4k feast, other big cash eating dogs include:
- Sundance, a Golden Retriever from Utah, who ate $500 in cash from an open suitcase in 2022.
- Callie, a Labrador from California, who scarfed down $1,000 in rent money sitting on the counter in 2021.
- Luca, a Boston Terrier from New York, who swallowed $600 during a 2023 New Year’s Eve party.
So Cecil joins a long list of money hungry dogs who have given new meaning to the phrase “chewing up cash.” His owners are just relieved they were able to recover most of their funds through amateur forensics.
What to do if Your Dog Eats Cash
While it sounds strange, the recovery process for money eating dogs is pretty straightforward:
Don’t panic or try to induce vomiting. Forcing your dog to throw up eaten money poses a choking risk and makes it less likely the bills will remain intact enough to redeem.
Track your dog’s bathroom habits. Pick up and inspect every poop your dog makes to try to locate and remove damaged currency before it fully passes through the GI tract. Use gloves and sanitize thoroughly.
Carefully rinse any recovered money. Use short gentle rinses only when absolutely necessary to remove obvious fecal residue while maintaining bill integrity for the Secret Service verification process. Don’t scrub.
Completely air dry any rinse money. Pat gently with towels then let fully air dry for 24-48 hours before submitting for redemption. Moldy money may be rejected.
Submit redeemed cash to the US Secret Service. They will verify legitimacy and submit for redemption by the Treasury. Expect to wait up to 8 weeks for reimbursement.
While chasing down dog poop for money may not be how you hoped to spend time after the holidays, staying calm and methodical in “poop patrol” provides the best odds at getting your greenbacks back.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.