Over the past month, Raleigh police said four golden retrievers have been reported missing from the Hayes Barton section of Raleigh.
Police said the thefts do not appear to be a coincidence, and that cut locks and slashed screens are the only evidence left behind.
The Peeler family has posted pictures of their missing dog, 4-year-old Molly, everywhere they can. They even sent out a mass mailing to every veterinary clinic in Wake County.
"Oh it's been tough. It's been devastating to the children. Many tears have been cried," dog owner Karen Britt Peeler said.
Peeler believes someone stole the golden retriever over the Fourth of July holiday.
Investigators believe someone has targeted the dogs for breeding, animal research or maybe even bait for pit bulls.
"These dogs, according to people we're talking with, say they're very docile. Therefore, the pit bull wouldn't sustain any injury; however, it would learn how to fight, which is barbaric. But that is a strong possibility that is what the dogs are being used for," said Capt. D.S. Overman, of the Raleigh Police Department.
Molly's owners do not even want to think about that possibility. They just want their dog back.
"Hope diminishes with every day that passes," Peeler said.
Police said they are looking for a man driving a white pickup truck with a camper shell on the back.
SPCA of Wake County
is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information about this case should contact the Raleigh Police Department at (919) 890-3555 or Crimestoppers at (919) 834-4357.
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