Animal Services Seeking Help to Identify Thieves
The Riverside County Department of Animal Services is seeking the public’s help to identify a trio of thieves responsible for a missing dog.
The dog was placed in a night-drop compartment at the county’s shelter in Jurupa Valley by a Good Samaritan on May 3 at about 9:30 p.m. One hour later, a woman, a man and a boy showed up and started trying to get into the locked compartment. All the actions were captured on video surveillance cameras.
After several minutes, the boy was able to break the compartment open. The trio walked away, presumably to drive their car closer to the front of the shelter – and the compartments.
What appears to be headlights in the dark parking lot pull toward a spot in front of the shelter, near the night-drop compartments. Shortly after that, the same man seen earlier in the video footage returns to the compartment that was vandalized.
The man pulled out the dog, a brindle-colored pit bull mix, and it wagged its tail and then followed the man’s lead. The man used a collar on the dog to move it toward the waiting vehicle. It is uncertain whether the man or his companions owned the dog.
Riverside County Animal Services’ shelter in Jurupa Valley, officially called the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter, impounds roughly 3,000 pets annually that have been placed in the night-drop compartments. The kennels have food and water for pets found by residents doing a good deed.
It is extremely rare that the compartments are tampered with, said Animal Services Director Robert Miller.
“Why this dog was taken is anyone’s guess, but it’s theft in our eyes – and we’re upset someone took a dog that may be owned by someone else,” Miller said. “It’s very possible that an owner will never get their pet back because of the selfish act of these people.”
A police report was handled by a deputy out of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Jurupa Valley station. Anyone with information about this incident can provide anonymous tips. Here’s a link to a sheriff’s tip line