Why did shelter burglars bash puppies to death?

MERLIN, Ore. — Six times in 2008, dog owners have broken into the Josephine County animal shelter to retrieve their animals without having to pay fees or fines.

So, it didn’t much surprise county officials when they found that the last burglars, on Friday, were after a chocolate Labrador mixed-breed dog that one of them owned.

What’s puzzling is why the three went on to cut kennel fences and liberate 11 animals, then bash the heads of four puppies and lay them in an orderly fashion in the middle of a nearby road.

“It’s still baffling,” said Animal Control Supervisor Brad Tally.

Two young men were arrested, and a teenage girl is being sought, sheriff’s deputies said.

The community has rallied round an institution whose budget has shriveled — like many public agencies in Southern Oregon hit by cutbacks in federal aid to timber-dependent counties.

Public Health Director Belle Shepherd told the Grants Pass Daily Courier the animal control agency had a $478,000 budget two years ago, and now it is $271,000.

Kim Wilson, a former veterinary technician and owner of pet-sitting business, raised more than $500 in cash donations and called an alarm business to get estimates for a better security system.

Other than the perimeter fence and a brick wall that can easily be scaled, the shelter has only locks to protect the animals inside, Shepherd said.

“Something like this should never have happened,” Wilson said. “I just wanted to help.”

The Merlin Moose Lodge and a local store set up a bank fund that raised $1,500 and individuals have showed up at the shelter offering cash.

Sheriff’s deputies say three of the pups were from a litter of border collie-Lab mixes and the fourth was a merle heeler-collie mix from an abandoned litter. Sheriff Gil Gilbertson said they were laid in a carefully spaced pattern down the center of the 700 block of Pleasant Valley Road in Merlin.

The other dogs have been recovered, except one thought to be with the teenage girl. The chocolate Lab is back at the shelter.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A few weeks before what could be her final professional UFC fight, Miranda Granger grimaces as she pushes a 45-pound plate up her driveway on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Her daughter Austin, age 11 months, is strapped to her back. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Daily Herald staff wins 5 honors at annual journalism competition

The Herald got one first-place win and four runner-up spots in SPJ’s Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest.

Panelists from different areas of mental health care speak at the Herald Forum about mental health care on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At panel, mental health experts brainstorm answers to staff shortages

Workforce shortages, insurance coverage and crisis response were in focus at the Snohomish forum hosted by The Daily Herald.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Report of downed hot air balloon turns up farmer’s tarp near Snohomish

Two 911 callers believed they saw a hot air balloon crash, leading to a major search-and-rescue response. It was a false alarm.

People gather for a color throw at Stanwood and Camano’s first-ever Pride celebration on Saturday, June 4, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘We’ve at least come a little ways’: Snohomish to host first Pride event

A 10 a.m. parade on First Street will be followed by a pop-up market with 60 vendors, a downtown wine walk, queer cabaret and more.

The site of a former 76 gas station and a handful of century old buildings will be the location for new apartments buildings at the corner of Pacific and Rucker on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Old gas station demolished for apartments in downtown Everett

A 200-unit apartment complex between three and seven stories tall is proposed at Pacific and Rucker avenues.

Kamiak High School is pictured Friday, July 8, 2022, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Kamiak football coach fired amid sexual misconduct investigation

Police believe Julian Willis, 34, sexually abused the student in portable classrooms on Kamiak High School’s campus.

Police: Marysville man fist-bumped cop, exposing tattoos of wanted robber

The suspect told police he robbed three stores to pay off a drug debt. He’d just been released from federal prison for another armed robbery.

People begin marching down First Street with a giant balloon “PRIDE” during Snohomish’s inaugural Pride celebration on Saturday, June 3, 2023, in downtown Snohomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
GALLERY: Snohomish hosts first official Pride celebration

Scenes from the parade and other events celebrating LGBTQIA culture and people in downtown Snohomish.

Cat killed, 9 people displaced after duplex fire in Everett

None of the people were injured in the fire reported around 1:15 a.m. in the 11500 block of Meridian Avenue S.

Most Read