Thieves Break Into Animal Shelter, Leave With 3 Quarantined Dogs


Security footage at the Jurupa Valley Animal Shelter in California showed two thieves breaking in and leaving with three dogs in the middle of the night. Most cases of animal shelter theft involve owners stealing their pets back. Typically, the owners believe they’re doing what’s right, but it’s not always what’s best for the dogs.

These three dogs ended up at the shelter after a reported bite incident and signs of neglect. California’s laws require dogs to be quarantined for ten days after a bite, but the dogs were stolen before that period was up. Sadly, the surveillance video suggests that these humans may not be treating their dogs well, but there’s still a lot that’s unknown.

Dogs tied to fence
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Shelter Takes in Three Dogs

Riverside County Animal Services took a Husky mix, and two Pit Bull mixes into custody after a series of concerning events. A witness reported a dog bite involving at least one of the dogs on the property. When officials went to investigate, no people were there, but the three dogs were outside alone.

One dog was wandering freely while the other two were tied to a fence near an RV. Some of the dogs had bloody fur and no access to food and water. Since officials didn’t know which dogs were involved in the bite incident, they had to take all three dogs into a ten-day quarantine. Animal control also worried that these dogs weren’t treated well.

Dog with bloody fur
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“Public safety is paramount in an instance of a dog bite,” said Animal Services Director Erin Gettis. “We had knowledge that one of these dogs committed a bite. It is unclear which of the three bit the victim, so we must impound all three in the interest of doing a proper quarantine.”

The main purpose of the quarantine is to monitor the dogs and assess the situation. However, officials didn’t get the opportunity to do that because all three dogs were stolen shortly after they were taken in.

Pit Bull at shelter
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Dogs Stolen Back

Surveillance footage showed two people breaking into the shelter at around 2:30 a.m. The suspects are believed to be one male and one female, and they’re likely the owners of the dogs. Two dogs were kept in the same kennel while the other was in a separate kennel. The suspects walked around the shelter until they spotted the dogs, and then they used bolt cutters to free them.

“We don’t suspect that someone is randomly coming in to steal a dog, unless it’s a Labradoodle, Boston Terrier, something very unique,” said John Welsh of Riverside County Animal Services. “People are coming in to, more than likely, steal their own pets.”

Thieves breaking into shelter
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In the video, the two suspects are seen running away from the shelter with one dog and then two more. At one point, it looks like one of the suspects hits one of the dogs as they’re running. Yet, all the dogs seem to recognize the humans despite how they’re treated because they follow them without needing a leash.

A Lot of Questions Unanswered

Animal control officers returned to the property where the dogs were found, but no one was there, and the RV was gone. Sheriffs are currently investigating the situation. They’re hopeful that they’ll locate the dogs for the safety of the animals and the public.

Husky mix at shelter
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Many people have been quick to form opinions about this story, but there’s still a lot of information that’s unknown. The public hasn’t been informed about the details of the bite or the dogs’ living situations. It certainly seems like the dogs are not given the best care, but there may be more to the story.

Yet, regardless of the reason for this theft, officials will continue to search for the dogs. In this situation, everyone’s safety is a priority, including the dogs’.

Watch the Security Footage Here:

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