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Caught dog handed

Did Hess's punishment fit her crime?
Did Hess's punishment fit her crime?
Courtesy of the Lake St. Louis, Mo. Police Department

Last November, two puppies were stolen from two separate Petland locations; one in Bolingbrook (744 West Boughton Road), the other in Naperville (located at 720 South Route 59). Well, it just so happens that Petland is smart enough to have surveillance cameras in place and captured the Naperville theft on tape.

The thief turned out to be a Missouri woman, Shelley Hess, age 51. She was accused of tucking a ten-week-old Havanese puppy under her jacket and walking out of the Naperville location.

Hess pled guilty to the Naperville theft but has yet to stand trial in Will County for the Bolingbrook theft of a 14-week-old Maltese male or for her theft in St. Charles, Missouri. She received two years of probation last Thursday for the first theft but come to find out this is not her first dance with stealing dogs so many believe the sentence to be light.

As per the original article submitted in Examiner, all three dogs were dropped off in good health at a kennel on November 10th by an alleged male that police searched for. Supposedly this man had some link to Hess.

Each dog was returned to its respective store in good condition but Hess once again returned to the Naperville Petland just days later. She purchased two dogs, one of which was the young puppy she had originally stolen.

Afterward her guilt may have gotten the better of her. She continually called the manager of the Naperville location and not only confessed to the theft, but told the manager that she tried to make up for her sin by purchasing the dogs, according to the Naperville Sun.

Evidently this woman and her so-called accomplice don’t realize the trauma that purchased dogs already must face. They are ordinarily bred in some really questionable locations from mothers that are bred until they are no longer capable and then put down for their lack of ability to produce anything more useful to the breeders.

The dogs live in deplorable conditions with crates stacked high, no liners and the ones on the bottom being spread with the waste from the ones above. Store bought dogs are cute, but many people discover that they are sickly because of their initial background and many of them end up in shelters or in rescues because they are expensive to take care of due to their high medical bills.

On top of this, they must go through the trauma of being stolen, taken to a pound, returned and one of the poor pups being sold back to their original thief. How awful this sounds.

It is sad what some people get away with. Probation? It sure doesn’t sound like the punishment fits the crime!

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