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Lee County residents voiced their displeasure with a potential property tax hike Thursday evening. More >>
March 19, 2008
Americus -- They are cute and cuddly puppies with no bite and little bark. But not far away from their cages is a different breed, with more bark and scars from dog fighting.
It was two fighting dogs, along with two puppies and a Rottweiler that were stolen Sunday night, and another Rottweiler Monday night, from the Sumter Humane Society.
"When I came to the gates, I recognized that it had been tampered with, and somebody had climbed through the fence over there," said Marc Waters with the Sumter Humane Society.
Waters alerted his boss Monday morning when he discovered the dogs were gone.
"We found a door had been ripped off the kennel, a water pipe had been broken, and five dogs had been taken," said Sumter Humane Society Director Jackie Sellers.
The two stolen pit bulls, seized along with three others during an Americus-Sumter Drug Squad investigation, were being held as evidence in that case. A lab-mix was also stolen along with a beagle puppy and an older Rottweiler. A second Rottweiler was taken during a separate break in Monday night.
The fear is that the dogs might have been stolen for fighting purposes. "You know, why would they take them? The only reason they would take the pit bulls is probably to fight them or breed them because they had come in here with open wounds and they had been trained to fight," said Sellers.
"We are concerned about the dogs original situation. We're looking into that and making sure there's no problems there, no leads going that way. We've got several other leads that may involve some of the other dogs that were not the typical breed of dog used in dog fighting," said Americus Police Chief James Green.
Americus Police, along with the Humane Society, hopes those leads and the hefty reward will find these dogs safe and put the dognappers behind lock and key.
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a $2,500 reward leading to the arrest and conviction in the case. The Sumter Humane Society is also offering a $500 reward.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Americus Police at 229-924-3677.