Pit bulls stolen from Humane Society, recovered by BPS

Published 5:04 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Two pit bulls were stolen from the Humane Society last Friday and recovered by Bainbridge Public Safety this week.

Bainbridge Animal Control Officer, Jeff Turner, and Bainbridge Humane Society shelter workers and volunteers were busy Monday morning reviewing Friday evening video footage in an attempt to identify the subjects involved in the theft of two pit bulls from the outdoor cages of the shelter. Turner said based on the video footage he believes the theft occurred between 7 and 8 p.m.

According to information provided by BPS investigator Mark Esquivel, one person, Paul Ray Nelson, 30, has been arrested and charged with theft by taking and criminal trespass. Nelson is the former owner of the gray and white pit bull, which had been picked up by animal control on Dec. 10, 2015.

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White said the dogs are in good shape and they are thankful to everyone in the community who really jumped on this matter and provided information to recover the dogs.

According to a BPS incident report, Patrol officer Davina Evans was patrolling Cox Avenue Saturday morning at 8:10 a.m. when she was waived down by Humane Society employee Charles Wesley. Wesley stated he was doing morning rounds when he noticed two blue nose pit bulldogs were missing.

The two cages, both located on the back side of the outdoor area where the dogs were housed, revealed fresh cuts to the chain link fencing making holes barely large enough to remove the large dogs.

The dogs, a gray and white neutered male known as Douglas, and a female reddish brown and white known as Carmel, had been with the shelter since late November and early December.

Shelter workers had become very attached to the two animals and shelter employee Ashley White stated, “We feel personally violated. That is the way we feel about these dogs here. We strive to keep them safe and protected. It is scary to think this could happen.”

Shelter Director Beth Eck said this incident further accentuates the need for a new shelter facility.

“It is necessary to keep some of the larger dogs outside because of crowding,” she said. “It is easy for people to drive by and see the dogs.”

The shelter has experienced two previous animal thefts in 10 years of operation. In both of those cases the thefts were perpetrated by the owners and the dogs were found to be safe.

The health and safety of the dogs is paramount among the shelter workers.