Niagara Gazette

Crime

August 27, 2013

Falls cops continue dog hunt

Niagara Gazette — Falls police are continuing to try to track down a bulldog that was taken from the SPCA of Niagara shelter a week ago.

Officers went to multiple locations in the city on Friday and over the weekend in a search for the animal. 

The hunt ranged from Walnut Avenue to 15th Street and Weston Avenue to the 700 block of 19th Street. In one case, a witness told officers they were sure the dog was in a nearby house, but the resident of the home denied it.

"There was a small dog in the home and (officers and animal rescue workers) could hear a larger dog barking from behind a closed door," SPCA Shelter Director Amy Lewis said. "But the (resident) insisted there was no other dog there and refused to let the police inside."

The white American bulldog was discovered missing after an apparent break-in at the shelter. Investigators believe the dognapping occurred between 8 p.m. Aug. 19 and 8 a.m. Aug. 20.

SPCA officials believe the break-in is tied to a Falls man who was staying at a 15th Street home where the dog was seized.

“We got a call over the weekend (of Aug. 17-18) from the Falls police to remove a dog from a home on 15th Street,” Lewis said. “The man who had the dog had been arrested for squatting in the home.”

Lewis said an SPCA rescue worker brought the bulldog to the organization’s Lockport Road shelter and it was placed in a kennel there. A day later, the man who had been accused of illegally occupying the 15th Street property showed up at the shelter and demanded the dog.

“He showed up and said, ‘You guys got my dog’, so we took him into the kennel and he identified (the bulldog) as his,” Lewis said. “We told him we needed to see proof of ownership, registration and vaccinations and then he could have the dog.”

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