Owner thinks dogs targeted in Albany arson - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Owner thinks dogs targeted in Albany arson

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –An Albany man says someone tried to kill his dogs twice in the last couple of weeks and tonight police are investigating.

Someone tried to burn his garage with two dogs locked inside Sunday. The owner says that was the second attempt to harm is dogs in a few days.

Thieves broke into the garage behind the South Albany home two weeks ago, and stole thousands of dollars worth of tools. The victims put the dogs inside the garage to protect it, and they think someone is trying to kill the dogs.

John Sowell is relieved his dogs Bear and Shorty are OK, after two attempts to kill them.   Sowell said "Pretty angry, pretty mad."

Friday Sowell found rat poison in his dog's food. Sunday discovered the back of the garage burned. Luckily, it did not spread, but investigators say there is no doubt that it was arson.

 Albany Fire Department Investigator Sam Harris said "It appears someone has poured a flammable liquid on the side of the garage and set it on fire."

Charles Johnson's family owns the home and garage, and rents it to his co-worker Sowell. He thinks the thieves who stole thousands of dollars worth of tools from that garage recently want back in.

 Johnson said "A couple of weeks ago someone came over here and broke in our shop. And stole all of our tools we work with. Tried to strip the air conditioner."

Now they are taking steps to protect their home and the dogs.

Sowell said "We are going to put cameras in. Our neighbor is going to put some cameras in also."

Investigators say anyone who would try to kill a dog might also try to harm a person, so Police and Fire Investigators are taking this case very seriously.

Johnson and Sowell repair and renovate old homes to rent or sell, and they say it's not just this house where they are having crime problems.. They say thieves are targeting many of their properties, stealing tools or stripping metal.

If you have any information about this arson case, you could earn a reward.

Call CRIMESTOPPERS at 436-TIPS, or the Albany Fire Department at 431-3262.

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