Coupeville shelter dog at center of legal fight is stolen

COUPEVILLE — Smiley, the dog whose fate launched a legal battle, was stolen from a animal shelter Friday night.

Detectives on Saturday afternoon were investigating, Island County Sheriff’s Detective Ed Wallace said.

Thieves took no other animals, and nothing else was missing from the nonprofit Whidbey Island shelter.

“They were obviously after him,” Wallace said of the break-in.

The shelter had been sued over its decision to euthanize the dog. Shelter officials say the mixed-breed dog is too aggressive to be adopted. A judge on Friday dismissed the suit, but ordered that Smiley not be euthanized pending an appeal.

Smiley’s supporters Bob Baker and Barbara Moran said in a statement they had nothing to do with the incident.

“We have no knowledge about anyone taking Smiley. Nor were we involved,” the couple stated on their blog at

Baker and Moran stand behind the lawsuit.

“Had our request been granted, this situation never would have happened,” their statement read in reference to the court’s decision.

Whatever their intentions, people responsible for Smiley’s disappearance broke the law and will receive punishment for it, Wallace said.

“Somebody took it upon themselves to be above the law,” Wallace said. “All emotions aside, these people committed a felony.”

Detectives are asking anyone with any information about Smiley to call the sheriff’s office dispatch center at 360-679-9567.

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