Normally, when a puppy is brought back in to a shelter, it’s seen as a failure of some sort. But in the case of a furry yet-to-be-named little guy, it was a success story.
“I really and truly didn’t think we would see the puppy again,” said Michael Barrett, director of PETSinc. “Just for the simple fact you never know what’s going to happen. Finals are going on, kids are finishing up and leaving to go out of town. I was really surprised when I received a phone call the next day saying he was on his way and that was less than 24 hours, the puppy was back in our possession.”
On May 1, a man was denied an adoption because he didn't meet PETSinc’s minimum age of 21. Instead of walking out, employees said the man went into a "staff only" section and walked out a side door with the 8-week-old puppy. Investigator Josh Skeen began working the theft immediately and said stolen animal cases are taken seriously.
“He was committing a crime, it was a malicious act after being denied the adoption process,” Skeen said. “We want to get these taken care of rather quickly so this smaller crime doesn’t end up turning into larger crimes later in life.”
The man suspected of grabbing the puppy is 20-year-old Peter Klein. He gave his real identity during the adoption interview, making him easy to track down. Klein turned himself in at the Sheriff’s Department Thursday morning and is charged with larceny of a dog.
“The specific section of larceny of a dog holds up to six months in jail so I think the state actually does take it a little more seriously than a petit larceny due to the fact that this is a living creature that people love and it requires care,” Skeen said.
PETSinc hopes to permanently part ways with the puppy and his siblings, but on better terms.
“We’re on the opposite end of a pet store,” Barrett said. “These are the unwanted kids and we’re a non-kill shelter, so we’re just trying to make sure that they go to a good home.”