Local News

Gaston mail carrier accused of stealing dog

Posted November 7, 2008

— A contract mail carrier for the United States Postal Service is accused of stealing a dog from a Gaston couple after delivering their mail, police said.

The Northampton County Sheriff's office has charged Sherry Morse, 35, of Virginia, with two felony counts of larceny and possession of stolen goods. She posted bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

The dog, an 8-year-old chow-pit bull mix named Dutchess, remains missing.

Owners Kenneth Davis and Deborah Shearin, of Gaston, said the dog was stolen on Oct. 13.

“For anyone who’s ever had a kidnapped child, I feel for them because I’m like this over my pet,” Shearin said.

The owners said they had just given the dog a bath and had not put its collar back on. As they normally do, the owners said they then let the dog roam the neighborhood.

Neighbor Faye Harris said she saw Dutchess in Morse’s car on the day she went missing.

“I said, 'That dog belongs right down there (at its home).' She said, ‘No, I don’t think it has a home. It looks like a stray to me,’” Harris said.

Harris said a teenager was with Morse that day. The sheriff’s office said they are looking into the teen's identity.

The day after Morse was charged, Davis and Shearin said, she was back in their neighborhood delivering mail.

“I’m not too happy with it. I don’t think she should be still delivering the mail,” Shearin said.

Morse did not stop at Shearin and Davis’ home.

A representative from the USPS told WRAL the company was unaware Morse faced felony charges. She has since been placed on unpaid leave. Representatives said the USPS has launched an internal investigation.

Calls to Morse have not been returned.

“All I want is my dog. I don’t want that woman to go to jail,” Davis said. “She can go free as long as she brings back my dog.”


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  • freedomrings Nov 7, 2008

    We live on a private street, in a wooded area in the middle of BFE. There's one street in the neighborhood. My 11 year old dog normally sits in front of my neighbor's house. While I understand the postal carrier's desire to help, she should have let the dog be, especially since a neighbor told her it belonged to someone. There's a big difference between letting a dog roam in Cary and letting a dog roam in a country area where everyone knows each other. I would never let my animal roam in a subdivision such as those in Cary, Raleigh, or Durham. Was the carrier new to the area? Surely she had seen the dog before. Why doesn't she just bring the dog back?

  • grayboomerang Nov 7, 2008

    Hard to have sympathy for irresponsible pet owners. If you let your dog roam at will, something is bound to happen to it sooner or later. Granted, accidents can and will happen..ie open gate, etc....but willingly letting your dog roam...eh, what do you expect.

    And anyone want to lay bets that the dog was probably intact as well?

  • Gottalovemy4dogs Nov 7, 2008

    Dogs should never be allowed to roam free. Period. It is irresponsible guardianship. I would sooner die than open the door and let my dogs run out the front door. With that said, nobody else has the right to take someone's property. Sounds like both parties are in the wrong.

  • jngamble1 Nov 7, 2008

    If she claimed, the dog was abandoned (which anyone in their right mind for a split second wouldn't believe), she should have called animal control... that would've been the appropriate response, and let them sort it out. She, however resorted to criminality by stealing or removing the dog from the premises without voluntarily asking other people "Is this your dog?", she in fact said she "Thought the dog was abandoned" and a neighbor exclaimed "The dog belonged to someone at the end of the block.". The right thing to do here would be at least handing over the dog to the neighbor, to be returned to the owners.

    To wyheel: I suppose it wouldn't be ok, if it happened to you, or if the dog was in fact a child!
    roam the neighborhood as THEY usually do"."THEY"? You definently have unresolved issues here and not a real world viewpoint.

  • exwife1956 Nov 7, 2008

    so, the mail carrier's life is ruined because she picked up what she thought was a stray dog.

  • wyheel Nov 7, 2008

    The owners DO NOT DESERVE the dog back.
    Letting it "roam the neighborhood as they usually do" is cause enough.
    To let the dog out with no collar.... no dogs for you forever.
    If the mail carrier thought it was a stray and took it to the shelter, good for the carrier.

    Bad dog owners, bad bad! Sit!