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Residents reporting ‘dognapping’ cases, Humane Society says

A series of "dognapping" incidents in Lawrence County recently has prompted the local Humane Society to advise residents to keep a closer eye on their animals.

Monday, April 16, 2001

A series of "dognapping" incidents in Lawrence County recently has prompted the local Humane Society to advise residents to keep a closer eye on their animals.

During the past two weeks, Steve VanSant, director of the Humane Society’s shelter, said he has received 19 reports of stolen dogs. Most of the dogs taken were either rottweilers or black labs and all but two were taken from rural areas of the county.

The culprits, VanSant says, are more than likely selling the dogs on the black market or to laboratories.

Most of the dogs taken have been those kept outside, which he described as "easy targets." Some, however, were inside dogs that owners let outside to roam free.

Given the volume of reports, VanSant said he contacted the county dog shelter to ask if some of the dogs had been picked up by animal control officers, but none were being held there.

To prevent an outside dog from being stolen, VanSant said owners should check on the animal frequently, respond to any unusual barking and, if the owners are out of town, have neighbors not only keep an eye on the dog but also listen for strange noises.

VanSant added anyone with questions may contact him at the shelter at 533-9050.