Pet owner Jim Flanagan stated that he saw one of his neighbor's dogs escape the suspect's trunk on Tuesday, Aug. 26.
"The car was up here stopped in the road,” he stated. “I heard them calling my dogs over to them."
“If he wasn’t here, she’d (KC the dog) be gone,” added Jim’s mother, Carol Flanagan.
Jim was startled to discover that the dognappers were attempting to steal his dog, KC.
“He was trying to get my dog in the car and he put some stuff in the trunk and my neighbor’s dog jumped out of the trunk,” Jim said.
Carol added: “To put a dog in a trunk? I mean that alone tells you that they’re up to no good.”
According to Jim, his neighbor's second dog then also jumped from the car and ran down the street, with the dognappers in hot pursuit.
“I was mad as all hell. To have somebody blatantly take a pet from somebody for something, horrible," stated Carol.
While the Flanagans called the police, the dog thieves were not located. Jim's neighbor stated that he followed the dognappers to a nearby gas station and took several photos of the suspect's vehicle. And while KC is home safe, Jim wants pet owners along Price Road in Machias to be on the watch.
“People are out trying to get your dogs,” he stated. “It’s scary.”
According to one neighbor, many pets have gone missing from the area in recent months. No arrests have been made yet in this case.
According to PAWS, the most common victims of pet theft are purebred dogs. Stolen pets may also be sold and then shipped off to puppy mills for breeding - reinforcing why it's so important to spay and neuter your pet.
Dogs are often stolen to be used as "bait dogs" who will train fighting dogs. These breeds are commonly Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, and American Pit Bull Terriers.
According to Petfinder, up to two million animals are stolen every year, but only about 10% are ever returned home. Petfinder states that animals are stolen for multiple reasons, including laboratory research, dog fighting or bait dogs, meat for exotic animals, pet store sales, breeders for puppy mills, for for clothing and accessories, ritual sacrifice, and sadistic acts.
You can help protect your pet from theft by keeping your animal indoors, particularly when you are not at home, and by not leaving your animals unsupervised in your neighborhood. Keep your dogs on a leash when you take a walk and ensure that your animals have proper identification, including up-to-date identification tags and licenses on their collar and a microchip with updated contact information.
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