Suspects Captured on Surveillance Footage
Two people are suspected of trespassing, breaking locks and stealing three dogs from the county’s shelter in Jurupa Valley early Sunday morning (April 24).
Animal Services is working with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department by providing surveillance footage of the trespassing and theft. A deputy responded on Sunday morning and took a report after employees discovered the missing dogs and broken locks.
Two dogs were kenneled together in one building at the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter (6851 Van Buren Blvd.). A third dog was kenneled alone in a different building. Surveillance footage shows the suspects trespassing at about 2:30 a.m. and leaving with the dogs off leash toward a back area of the campus.
It is believed the dogs were stolen by the presumed owner and his accomplice, possibly a woman. All three dogs were in protective custody kennels after they were impounded on April 21. Animal Services officer Christopher Peck impounded the dogs after responding to an incident that involved a dog bite.
When officer Peck arrived at the Jurupa Valley location where the reported bite occurred, one dog was roaming off leash and two were tethered to a fence near a recreation vehicle. No one was present. In the interest of public safety and since the animals did not have food or water, he impounded all three dogs.
Animal Services officer Sean Fazio drove to that location in Jurupa Valley on Sunday, but the RV was not there.
Animal Services Director Erin Gettis said she appreciates sheriff’s investigators’ assistance and is optimistic the dogs will be found.
“Public safety is paramount in an instance of a dog bite,” Gettis said. “We had knowledge that one of these dogs committed a bite. It is unclear which of the three bit the victim, so we must impound all three in the interest of doing a proper quarantine.”
State law requires animal control agencies to conduct a bite investigation anytime an animal has bitten a human. A 10-day quarantine period is required.
This weekend’s theft is the second in less than four months. A man is suspected of stealing his dog on Jan. 28. Animal Services provided sheriff’s investigators video surveillance and other evidence in that incident, too. That investigation remains ongoing.