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Horrified animal lovers: Thieves pepper spray dogs during Wake County home break-ins

Posted October 4

— Police say thieves in Wake County are breaking into houses and pepper spraying homeowners’ dogs in the process.

Thieves broke into Clay Adams's backdoor on Labrador Drive on September 26, when he and his girlfriend were at work. They ransacked it and stole several items.

Adams' heard his dog, Tron, barking frantically from the back bedroom. He had been maced.

"His body was like entirely pink, almost red," Adams said. "His nose, right across the front of his nose, was bleeding, right across here because I guess he had scratched his nose trying to get it out. He was real red everywhere.”

Adams, who owns DeMo's Pizzeria & Deli on Glenwood South Avenue, said he had many things stolen, but he was most horrified by his dog's condition.

The next day, a similar break-in took place in Wake Forest, where the homeowner's dog was also maced and locked in a bedroom.

Horrified animal lovers: Thieves pepper spray dogs during Wake County home break-ins

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said thieves used mace so they can stop the dog from a distance.

"Anybody who will hurt a dog or a pet, I have no use for," Harrison said.

"They can get far enough away, that spray can go anywhere from 10 to 20 feet. Once they spray it in their eyes, its going to cause problems for the dog just like you and me."

Harrison says people willing to hurt a dog are also willing to hurt people.

"If they're going to spray a dog, or hurt a dog, what do you think they're going to do with that person if that person walks out of a room?" he said.

Adams has now replaced doors, locks and added an alarm system at his home.

"It looked like someone had taken a screw driver and just tried to finagle their way in here," Adams said.

Harrison said a suspect or suspects in the case could also be charged with animal cruelty in addition to robbery.

Police have arrested three suspects for robberies in the area, but no one has yet been charged for the specific incidents.


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  • Karen Hahn Oct 5, 12:07 p.m.
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    It's awful that the dogs were pepper sprayed. But at least they weren't shot! My neighbor's dog was shot dead by the thief just a few months back.

  • Nancy LaBarge Oct 5, 9:41 a.m.
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    I hope they finds the ones who are doing this and pepper spray them at the time of arrest, just so they can feel the same pain

  • William Hayes Oct 4, 6:00 p.m.
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    Home invaders are the worst kind of people. Just the biggest lowlifes who want to steal what you worked, meanwhile destroying your piece of mind and doing things like this. They need stiffer sentences. We should accept at one point, certain actions make people impossible to rehabilitate.