Letter: Could your dog be targeted for theft?

To the editor:

As a volunteer with the Missing Pet Network I wish to submit an urgent notice.

August is the peak dog stealing season. The theft of many of these dogs comes from “bunchers” who steal family pets.

My work is sponsored under the USDA Animal Care Office (see petfinder.net). So far we have compiled 12 dogs missing under unusually similar circumstances on Gilmore Ridge Road, South Deckard Ridge Road, Ramp Creek Road and potentially Freeman Ridge. The similarities stand to bear that it was not a coyote.

Deckard Ridge Road resident Shay Todd’s (formerly Shay Deckard) Great Dane was taken from inside a closed gate while she was home with her car parked. She saw a minivan drive off. Dayle King, a sometime weekender in the same area suspected foul play when his coonhound, Otis, went missing with collar left behind (to get rid of evidence).

Similar circumstances are recorded for Salt Creek Estates owners who do not wish to disclose their locations as some have high-profile occupations. One couple who lost a Bullmastiff noticed a “stranger” in a minivan with plates that look like they were out of state. All other dogs were not afraid of strangers and roamed freely, unsupervised.

Big dogs can fetch $800. Large dogs are the prime target for cardiovascular and skeletal research studies. Small dogs are picked up to be used in “bait bin” for organized dog fights. The USDA makes inspections of Class B random source dealers of dogs used in medical- research institutions to ensure they are from licensed dealers and not these bunchers.

The suspect is thought to be revolving around these areas and picking isolated homes without long driveways. Residents are advised to keep their pets indoors. Be responsible pet owners.

Mary Louise Myers, Bloomington

Editor’s note: Brown County Sheriff Scott Southerland said Aug. 16 that no reports had been received of this dog theft happening in Brown County.


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