In the past six months 11 dogs have gone missing in southern Cooper County prompting the Cooper County Sheriff's Department to investigate the cases. After a report was filed regarding animal cruelty in Cooper County and the missing dogs, the department looked back to make sure they had not overlooked any cases. The department is currently working on three cases.
According to Cooper County Sheriff Jerry Wolfe the dogs have gone missing along Highway AA near Clarksburg (Highway AA is a connecting road between Highway B and H). These cases include the disappearance of family owned purebred dogs (including two English Bulldogs, two Border Collies and a German Shepherd) who according to the owners did not leave the home or stayed near the owner. Since the dogs were purebred, it may have made it enticing for thieves to steal them. The dog owners fear this is the case.
Petfinder.com, an online resource for stolen pets, states dogs are stolen for several reasons including being used in laboratories, dog fighting, breeders for puppy mills, meat for human consumption, meat for exotic animals, fur for clothes, sale in pet stores, protective guard dogs and ritual sacrifice for satanic cults.
Yet, according to petfinder.com the United States Department of Agriculture licenses animal dealers, which includes anyone selling animals to laboratories (or selling more than 24 dogs or cats per year at the wholesale level). Many of the people involved in the sale of stolen animals are licensed by the federal government. Class A dealers maintain their own breeding colonies while class B dealers obtain animals from “random sources.” For a $50 fee, anyone can acquire a USDA Class B dealer license. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspectors are responsible for seeing dealer records are current and complete, and for ensuring the health and safety of the animals.'
Random sources, according to petfinder.com may include someone's backyards. 'Others are obtained through 'free to a good home' ads. B Dealers prey on unsuspecting people who can no longer care for their companions. Individuals acquire animals for free by making fraudulent promises of a good home and tender care, then selling the animals, sometimes the same day, to Class B Dealers. Most will be sold to research facilities, many of which are funded by tax dollars. Researchers prefer to experiment on pets and other animals that have lived with people because they tend to be docile and easy to handle.'
The dog owners told KRCG they fear their pets are being re-sold for profit. Wolfe said something could have killed the canines, but added the bodies of the pets would have been most likely found.
Unfortunately, Wolfe said the department does not have much to go on because of the time span the dogs have been missing, but they are following some small leads. Wolfe added the department is looking at an industry notorious for snatching dogs.
Page 2 of 2 - According to a study by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 14 percent of pet owners reported a missing dog in the past five years. About 93 percent of dogs were found and returned to the owner during that time.
The department is asking neighbors and area residents if they had noticed anything suspicious during the past six months and to call the department at 660-882-2771 if they have any information. For more information on pet theft visit, http://www.petfinder. com/dogs/lost-and-found-dogs/prevent-pet-theft/.