Rash of pet thefts reported in Aberdeen

By Ray Van Dusen/Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN – They were two rescues from Virginia who grew too big for the one-bedroom apartment where they were raised.
“My son hated to part with them but brought them down here to live, and they were some of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever had. It’s just their nature to be friendly and run up to everybody they see with their tails wagging,” said Jim Box, who lost the two Siberian huskies in the past month.
Since the two were inseparable, Box looked to his neighbor’s two dogs to offer company for the second Siberian husky after the first one was missing. A short time later, his dog and one of the neighbors’ dogs came up missing as well from the Box Road area.
Dog thefts are a year-round occurrence, but the holidays seem to bring out more cases. It’s a mystery what happens to them, but there’s a range of possibilities.
“Sometimes with these missing dog cases, somebody takes them to resell them at a flea market,” said Ginny Pounders, a volunteer with the Aberdeen Animal Shelter. “People should adopt from a shelter because they know then they’re getting a dog that’s legitimate. With flea market dogs, the puppies could come from a puppy mill, and the adults could be stolen; you have no idea what you’re going to get.”
There’s a bulletin board at the animal shelter with flyers of missing dogs and sticky notes with people’s phone numbers, descriptions of their dog and the last place it was seen.
“I thought it was weird there were other flyers of missing beagles when I was putting my flyer up at Food Giant,” said Cindy Underwood, who has put up signs and flyers around town since Thanksgiving Day. “I didn’t realize how many people here used them as hunting dogs. We had two go missing – a younger female that’s really spunky and an older male that’s not as agile. I told my father-in-law the male wouldn’t be a good hunting dog because of his age, and sure enough, he came back three days later.”
The Aberdeen Animal Shelter reports there have been several more cases of missing dogs during the past few weeks.
“We had four Great Pyrenees reported at one time. It seems like most of the reports have been of purebred dogs,” said Dianna Stargel, a volunteer with the Aberdeen Animal Shelter.
“I’ve lived at this house for eight years, and nothing like this has ever happened. It breaks my heart,” said Dee Cooper, who had two Boxer mixes and a retriever mix stolen at two separate occasions during the past month from the Darracott community.
“It’s important to keep dogs on leashes and keep them fenced in, but sometimes they still come up missing when they’re fenced in,” Pounders said.
Amory Humane Society President Mitzie Smith stresses having pets spayed and neutered to keep them at bay, keeping tags and collars on dogs, taking current photos monthly of puppies and registering and microchipping dogs to keep closer tabs on them.
Anyone with any information regarding missing or located pets can call the Aberdeen Animal Shelter at (662) 369-2188 or the Amory Humane Society at (662) 256-7566.
ray.vandusen@journalinc.com