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4 siblings consider themselves 'rescuers' following arrest for stealing puppies

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On Wednesday, March 12, four siblings entered the Anderson County PAWS, and walked out with 3 puppies. Fox Carolina updated the story on day after their arrest in their March 19 newscast.

This Examiner story covered the original story.

Anderson County Sheriff's office identified the suspects as siblings Kenneth Frank Lewis, 22; Cassidy Lynn Lewis, 19; Randle Blake Lewis, 20; and Taylor Brook Lewis, 17.

The four had been in Anderson, and after driving by the shelter, decided to stop and go inside to see the animals up for adoption.

According to the siblings, after they had played with the puppies, they were about to put them back into the respective cages when the puppies started to shake and whine.

The suspects gave several reasons as to why they felt the need to remove the puppies from shelter property. Most of their excuses involved not wanting the puppies to be euthanized. The employees and volunteers work hard to find each animal in their care a home.

Shelter staff has responded, saying that until people learn to spay and neuter their pets, the shelter will continue to be the place where unwanted pets end up.

One of the puppies, a blue healer mix, had already been promised out. An adoptive home was waiting for the little dog, and the person who had offered a home for the shelter pup is now heartbroken.

It was hoped that the four siblings would give the judge some idea of where the puppies are at this time. That didn't happen, but they assured the Fox Carolina viewers that the puppies were placed in responsible homes. An apology was also made for taking the puppy who had already been adopted.

Jessica Cwynar, director of PAWS, stated to Fox Carolina

"It bothers me because now those people have no justifications of where those animals came from or any procedures that have been done to those animals."

Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper thanked the community for their help in quickly learning the identity of the puppy thieves. Thanks to the tips that came in once the original surveillance photo taken from the shelter was posted, it didn't take long to identify the puppynappers.

A Facebook post by Taylor Lewis stated

"We saved those pups they had been in those cages for at least a month and one had no water."

Cwynar disputed this, saying the animals in their care always have fresh food and water.

The siblings were released after spending the night in jail, with their bond set at $2,000. They have to return for another hearing on April 8.

While looking at the Anderson County PAWS Facebook page, there are mixed opinions on the theft of the puppies. Many believe the siblings should be given jail time for their crime, as they need to learn this is unacceptable behavior.

Others are idolizing the four as animal advocates who rescued the three puppies from a death sentence.

Sheriff John Skipped has asked that anyone with knowledge of the puppies to please contact 864-260-4400 or Crime Stoppers at 888-CRIME-SC. Anderson County P.A.W.S. can be reached at 864-260-4151.

Which side are you on, dear readers? Please leave a comment below.

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