He was targeted by dognappers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

He was targeted by dognappers

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

HENDERSON, TX (KLTV) - Henderson police are investigating another incident involving a pit bull. But this time the dog was stolen from the animal control shelter. The dog was returned Wednesday. Investigators are looking for "dognappers" who went to great lengths to get "one" dog in a shelter full of animals.

When animal control workers came in Monday morning they were alarmed to find that someone had broken into the kennel section and taken one dog, a pit bull that was captured on Friday.

"We got a report from the animal control office here in Henderson," said Lt. Craig Sweeney, with the Henderson PD. "They stated they had picked up a pit bull that was running loose in a neighborhood."

The shelter is unmanned during the weekend, and all of the kennel areas are back behind fences.

Investigators say evidence at the scene shows that the suspects scaled part of the fence then went directly inside where the animal was being held in an unlocked cage. Nothing else was disturbed.

"[They] really had to...make a big effort to get the dog," said Sweeney. "It wasn't just sitting out there. They had to open gates crawl over fences."

Police questioned the dog's owners, but no charges are filed. Then, halfway through the morning, a call came in from a home-owner who has a surprising guest.

"That dog that was reported stolen is here at this house," said Sweeney.

Shelter workers were saddened that the incident even occurred.

"If they're brought here to an animal shelter, they get fed they get watered, they get housed," said Veronica Whittington, a Henderson animal control officer. "It's not like most people think: It's an automatic death sentence. That's not what we do. We find good homes for them."

Investigators speculate that the dog was dropped at one resident in hopes of retrieving it later.

"It looks like that was the target of whoever went onto the compound for that dog," said Sweeney.

For now, the pit bull remains in lock up.

Because of the theft, the shelter says they will be installing a video surveillance security system.

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