Pit bulldog thefts increase - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pit bulldog thefts increase

July 26, 2005

Dougherty Co. -- Dougherty County Police suspect that dog fighting is on the upswing, because of a recent wave of pet thefts and injured animals.

One Dougherty County dog owner had nine of his pit bulls stolen, but he caught the thieves on surveillance video. Now Police hope you can identify these dog snatchers, and their animal killing sport.

Jerry Harris' pit bulls were stolen from his yard July 7th. "Those kennels right there had puppies in all those kennels right there. They been in my family over 25 years, I've been raising them," said Harris.

Harris' surveillance cameras record two men stealing seven pit bull puppies, ages 2 to 18 months, and two older dogs. Harris' dogs are friendly, and the men pet them before hauling them away. Three men come back two hours later and steal more dogs.

"Right now pit bulls are just something that kids are fascinated by. That's the trend right now, and they'll do whatever to get them," Harris said.

Harris denies knowing anything about dog fighting, but police suspect that the pit bulls will be trained to kill. Albany

Humane Society Executive Director Donna Strickland said, "There are a lot of juveniles in this area that are toying around with dog fighting. I'm sure it's a common practice in our area."

A number of other pets, besides pit bulls, have been reported stolen in recent months. Police believe dog fighters are using those pets to train the pit bulls to kill.

Police suspect this recent rash of pet thefts shows growing dog fighting activity around Albany.

Jerry Harris hopes someone can help him get his pit bulls back. "Something that you raised from a pup, somebody just come take it from you, you know that's a lot to worry about."

If you can help identify these dog thieves, call the Dougherty County Police or the Albany Humane Society. Albany Animal control officers say they receive reports of about 10 pit bull thefts a week.

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