Robbins, N.C. — Animal control officers in Randolph, Montgomery and Moore counties are warning pet owners to be careful after reports of three men posing as officers to steal dogs.
The Moore County Sheriff's Office is investigating a case where the men tried to take a Great Dane along Borden Road in the High Falls area, outside of Robbins, a couple of weeks ago.
Kim Cox said she was returning home from a trip to the store when she saw the men standing in her yard with her dog's head in a catch pole.
"She was swinging her head back and forth," Cox said of her dog, Freckles.
Cox said the three men looked official. They had matching uniforms and white trucks with dog cages inside.
"They looked legit, or I would have been asking questions. I just wanted to know why they were taking my dog," she said.
Cox said the men questioned where she lived and if she really owned the dog.
"I told him if you let her off the pole, she’ll come to me,” Cox said.
The men let Cox have her dog back but said they would return in a couple weeks to make sure Freckles had her rabies shot.
After her encounter with the men, Cox called Moore County Animal Control. Officer Frank Ringelberg told her the men did not work for animal control.
Ringelberg said the men are targeting certain dogs, especially those who are friendly and easy to pick up and reselling them to other people or possibly veterinary labs. The goal is to make money. A Great Dane, for example, can be resold for a significant amount, he said.
Ringelberg said the main thing to note about the men is that they do not have Moore County Animal Control seals on their white trucks and do not wear badges.
"All our agents are in uniform, all marked. Our trucks are marked. We are really easy to identify," Ringelberg said.
The impostors are described as wearing white shirts and blue pants.
Anyone with information about the cases is asked to call the Moore County Sheriff's Office at 910-947-2931.