Local News

Pit Bulls Stolen From Wake Animal Shelter

Posted December 3, 2007

— Raleigh police are investigating a break-in at the Wake County animal shelter and theft of four pit bulls.

Shelter employees called police at 5:41 p.m. Sunday after discovering the female dogs – two 8-week-olds and two 1-year-olds – missing.

Authorities believe the thieves used a handgun to shoot out the front door and shatter the glass of the Wake County Animal Care, Control & Adoption Center at 820 Beacon Lake Road.

Investigators found bullet holes in a wall beneath the reception desk near the door.

The facility was closed at the time of the break-in, but employees were in the building. No one was injured and no one heard the intruder or intruders.

"In this situation, shots were fired into an occupied building," Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue said. "The consequences could have been a whole lot worse than they were."

Animal shelter staff said they suspect the thieves visited the facility when it was open and might have scoped out what they looking for.

Dogs have been stolen from the shelter before during operating hours, but there had never been a break-in.

"Obviously, the benefits that were reaped were the four dogs, but beyond that, it's impossible to say why it might have happened," Sughrue said. "It's a very unusual crime."

Shelter workers suspect the thieves may have scoped out the facility while it was open and knew exactly what they were looking for.

Some speculate the dogs might have been taken to participate in dog fighting; others say the thieves might sell the dogs. The price to adopt a dog from the shelter is $120.


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  • carlostheass Dec 4, 2007

    "This breed of dog is of "no" use to society." -- joefly1964

    Nothing could be farther from the truth. I rescued a pit bull that was used to fight and she is still in a loving home. Joefly, she would kill you....she'd lick you to death!

    As for the others crying for these dogs, this may well be better for them since we do not know for a fact their fate. Over 70% of the dogs that enter Wake County's shelter are euthanized. Did you know that? Thousands. In other counties it's more like 98%. Many counties in North Carolina gas them to death in chambers. We all agree it was awful when Hitler did it, but it's somehow acceptable when it is done to innocent companion animals. Go figure.

  • Run_Forrest_Run Dec 4, 2007

    If they were stolen for fighting (probably) maybe they'll bite and really hurt their captors. We can only hope!!!!

  • sunflowerbubbles Dec 4, 2007

    Well, we know what they will be used for... illegal acts...

  • Tired of your excuses Dec 4, 2007

    I work in a dog shelter and believe me, when they are all barking at the same time, you cannot hear anything. Put that with the fact that most kennel workers are a good distance from the front entrance, it is easy to understand why no one heard the gunshots. As far as pit bulls being bad dogs, I have to disagree, we have several that I would take home any day. They have really gotten a bad rap. It's usually the thugs that own them that make them into bad dogs.

  • protectanimals Dec 4, 2007

    Put up pictures of the dogs stolen. Run them on the news WRAL and the paper. Offer a substantial reward to anyone who offers details about the incident that leads to arrests. Hey, I'd contribute so it wouldn't come from the tax base. This is intolerable the dogs are female and will likely be bred over and over to produce dogs for dog fighting. I'd like to say more but it would be edited, I'm just so tired of seeing the type of people who just chain their dogs outside and use them as a status symbol. Pit bulls that are trained and raised in loving homes are not violent. The thugs who did this do not care about he law, or the animals. We need to give their thug friends an incentive to rat them out.

  • pitbull0373 Dec 4, 2007

    joefly - The breed of dog is not the problem. It's the ignorant humans that train these dogs. I've owned numerous pitbulls since I was child. I have yet to have a problem with them being too aggressive or dangerous. Breeds like this get a bad name due to their owners. Saying they should be killed just because of their breed is dumb. That's like saying kill a person because of their race or religion. I'm no "tree hugger" or member of Peta by no means, but they can be good dogs.

  • ifcdirector Dec 3, 2007

    I hope they catch these people but more importantly I wish for once that Wake County voters would put some judges on the bench with guts enough to give people the sentences they deserve for crimes like this. What if a staff member had come to that door or been near the front and hit by a bullet?

  • mypuckytaz Dec 3, 2007

    I hope they will find these dogs. The poor things will undoubted be used for fighting - if humans were only as smart as our four-legged friends - this world would be a much better place!

  • chameleoniggy Dec 3, 2007

    joefly1964 the breed is not the problem, the problem is the idiots breeding them and training them to fight and be aggressive. Pit Bulls and Rottweilers make GREAT pets and are very loving, non-aggressive dogs when bred and raised right. They have gotten a very bad reputation because of irresponsible breeding and training. Lets rid the USA of the idiot adults that breed and train them wrong and we will have some wonderful dogs.

  • St Ives Dec 3, 2007

    Brakes my heart also, I know it probably won't happen but I do hope thay can be found. Maybe a reward???