The Real Deal New York

A dogged search

Kurland Realty founder finds bulldog

March 31, 2008
By James Kelly

The case of a kidnapped English bulldog splashed across newspapers and airwaves last month had a real estate connection: The pet’s owners are Jessica and Kevin Kurland, who is the president and founder of Kurland Realty.

Fortunately for Clara, the purloined pet, Jessica has a friend, Beth Ostrosky, whose boyfriend is known for reaching wide audiences: the radio personality Howard Stern. He invited Jessica on the show to publicize the search effort, and the story was picked up by the New York Post.

The saga began around 8:30 p.m. in mid-March, when Clara went missing from outside a Food Emporium on the far West Side.

On the show, Jessica offered a $3,000 “no questions asked” reward for the return of the dog. And Stern berated her for leaving the dog tied up outside the store unattended.

Kevin put up flyers in the neighborhood of the incident, showing a picture of the 3-year-old bulldog and indicating the reward.

He began his brokerage as a one-man operation in 1997, beginning with residential rentals, out of his apartment. The company has expanded to home sales and commercial leasing and sales, and now has a staff of around 30 brokers and 40 total employees.

Also pitching in was an animal rescue organization called Rescue Ink, a crew of hulking, tattooed volunteers with a soft spot for animals.

“[Rescue Ink] looks like a gang that you don’t want to run into in prison,” Kevin said. “One of them is a former detective, and they’re all pet lovers. They’re big teddy bears, but they look really mean.”

Three days after Clara went missing, Kurland told The Real Deal that he had upped the reward offer to $5,000. And four days after the search began, an anonymous couple found Clara walking down the street, not far from where she went missing.

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