Kidnapped dog may be a case of mistaken identity
EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the pit bull that was stolen from an Exeter animal shelter may have been the victim of mistaken identity.
Rhode Island State Police believe the suspect may have been looking for a different dog that had been taken as part of an ongoing investigation.
“We think that they believe this dog was in fact a dog that was seized as part of an animal cruelty investigation and was valuable to the people that it was seized from,” Earl Newman of the RISPCA Division of Law Enforcement said.
Police said they can’t confirm if the individuals involved in that investigation are suspects in this case.
State troopers were called out to a reported break-in at the shelter after hours on July 19 and security cameras were able to capture images of the suspect.
A $1,000 reward is being offered for any information about the identity of the suspect and the return of the stolen dog.
“We assume that someone will be able to identify this dog,” Newman said. “Two weeks ago somebody didn’t have this dog, and now suddenly they do. So we’re hoping that somebody will be able to identify this from the photos that we’ve released and contact us or the state police.”
The stolen dog had been surrendered by its owner more than nine months ago due to the owner leaving the area.
Newman said that the RISCPCA and police are concerned for the safety of the dog.
“It had been up for adoption for several months,” Newman said. “The suspect definitely had a more nefarious purpose for stealing this dog.”
Anyone with information should call the Rhode Island State Police at 401-444-1068 or the Rhode Island SPCA at 401-438-8150. Those who would like to remain anonymous can do so.