‘Those poor puppies’: Humane Society, sheriff react to theft of 10 French bulldogs in Ottawa County

The dogs are estimated to be worth about $ 6,000 each.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Michigan – A theft in Ottawa County is described as “a unique case” by the Sheriff’s Office.

Ten purebred puppies only a few weeks old were confiscated from a home in Tallmadge Township after authorities proved they had been stolen from a breeder in Ohio.

“Those poor puppies,” said Jen Self-Aulgur, executive director of the Harbor Humane Society. “This is a really difficult thing for puppies.”

In early June, nearly 40 pups were stolen from property in Holmes County, Ohio, just outside Akron.

On Tuesday, 10 of these pups, all French Bulldogs, were found in a house in Tallmadge Township after the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department contacted the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

“We helped by going to the residence on the 900 block on Leonard Street,” said Capt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

“Some research followed,” Bennett added, “and it was found that 10 of these animals were actually the same animals that were stolen.”

The dogs are estimated to be worth about $ 6,000 each.

After they were found by authorities, the pups were taken to the Harbor Humane Society in Ottawa County for care. The owners drove from Ohio and were reunited with their pups at the shelter on Wednesday morning.

“The pups stayed with us for the night and we checked them to make sure they were healthy,” said Self-Aulgur.

Authorities say employees at the Ohio breeder saw pictures online of puppies that looked similar to the ones stolen.

“They were able to somehow track and find images on the Internet,” said Self-Aulgur. “From there they entered the young woman’s Facebook profile and used social media to track her down.”

All puppies were microchipped so the investigation could confirm that those 10 puppies found on the 900 block of Leonard Street in Tallmadge Township were, in fact, the ones that were stolen earlier this month.

“It sounds like the suspects, whether or not they are the people on Leonard Street or others involved, have targeted certain breeders of these French bulldogs,” Bennett said.

Bennett said no one is on pre-trial detention for the crime, but a 41-year-old woman and a 17-year-old girl, both from Tallmadge Township, are likely to be charged.

Bennett adds that this is a complex investigation.

“There is still a lot to be done,” said Bennett, “and there are many pieces of the puzzle to investigate.”

“We have a crime of theft allegedly committed in Ohio and then a crime of obtaining stolen property, presumably here in Michigan,” he added.

Bennett said that once the investigation is complete, they will make a presentation to prosecutors in both jurisdictions to determine the best course of action regarding the charges and who is involved and where.

Bennett told 13 ON YOUR SIDE that there is a case of puppy theft in northern Indiana that may be linked but has not yet been confirmed. So he said the ongoing investigation is extremely important as others may be involved and other dogs are missing from the Ohio breeder.

“We’re really confident that the Sheriff’s Office can get to the bottom of this and find out what’s going on,” said Self-Aulgur.

“There was no sign of ill-treatment of the pups on Leonard Street,” said Bennett. “It looks like this particular crime was only committed for the money of these expensive animals.”

Self-Aulgur confirmed that the pups were in fairly good health with the exception of a few minor infections.

“I think I’m more concerned that people will steal pups or get pups for a cheap price and then turn them over,” added Self-Aulgur, “because at the end of the day I can tell you a lot of these unwanted animals end up in places like Harbor Humane. “

In an article published in February, the American Kennel Club said high quality dogs like bulldogs and French bulldogs are at greatest risk of being stolen.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Silent Observer at 1-877-88-SILENT or www.mosotips.com.

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