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Three missing pit bull puppies recovered

April 22, 2001

Three missing pit bull puppies recovered



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

MAUGANSVILLE - Three of six missing mixed-breed pit bull puppies were returned to the Humane Society of Washington County last week.

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Society Executive Director Maria Procopio said the animals were in good health.

The puppies and a pregnant mixed pit bull were stolen from the shelter a few weeks ago in separate burglaries, she said.

Eve, a 9-week-old female, was given to someone on the street who recognized the pup from a Herald-Mail article and returned her to the shelter, said Procopio.

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Jade, a 3-month-old female, was recovered by a Washington County Sheriff's deputy and Bruno, a 6-month-old male, was picked up by shelter staff as a stray, she said.

Still missing are Kali, the pregnant mixed pit bull, China, a 7-month-old female pitbull, and Dante and Odie, both 9-week-old male pit-boxer mixes.

On April 12, several locks at the shelter on Maugansville Road were cut and the five- to seven-week-old pups were taken from three locations in the building, said Procopio.

On March 30, Kali, who was under a rabies quarantine, was stolen from the shelter in the same manner, she said.

"I think they feel they can be sold as purebreds even though they are mixes. And some people use pit bulls for fighting," Procopio said.

Procopio said the pit bulls appeared to have been the target of the burglars because other breeds of dogs were left behind during each burglary.

The pets are at risk because puppies and pregnant dogs are susceptible to viruses and need proper nutrition, said Procopio.

If sold as a purebred, a pit bull can bring $100 to $150, she said.

If they aren't sold, the animals likely will be used for fighting and the weaker dogs will be used for training, she said.

Pit bulls are popular because of their strong, compact bodies and their ability to be extremely aggressive if encouraged, she said.

Pit bulls have above-average intelligence and strength but aren't vicious unless trained to be, said Procopio.

Factors such as neglect, abuse, indiscriminate breeding and poor nutrition in its formative years can make any breed of dog inclined to be violent, she said.

The Humane Society of Washington County is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of any or all of the dogs, with no questions asked.

Anyone with information about the animals can contact animal control officer Keller Hayden at 301-733-2060.

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