May 24, 2018
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Stolen dogs returned to Bangor, Augusta shelters

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Two of the three dogs reported stolen from Maine animal shelters in recent days have been returned.

An American pit bull stolen from the Bangor Humane Society’s animal shelter on Monday afternoon was located by Bangor police and brought back shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday, Executive Director Suzan Bell said Tuesday.

Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said the incident remains under investigation by Officer Jason Stuart and that no one had been charged in connection with the dog theft as of Tuesday afternoon. The details surrounding the circumstances of the dog’s return were not immediately available, and it is still not clear whether the three dognappings were connected.

Bell said Tuesday that Aikido, a 2-year-old male described as extremely friendly, was going to be evaluated by a veterinarian but appeared to be in good condition.

“He appears to be OK — waggy, waggy tail and all,” Bell said.

Bell said the shelter’s staff and supporters are relieved that Aikido is back and ready to be adopted.

“He’s a sweet, sweet boy,” she said. “He deserves a good home.”

She credited city police for the dog’s safe and rapid return.

“They did an amazing job,” she said. “They’re animal lovers, dog lovers, too, and they were very compassionate.”

Bell also applauded area media outlets and Facebook users for helping to spread the word about the dog snatchings.

Also returned was a female black Lab mix taken from the Kennebec Valley Humane Society’s shelter in Augusta.

Candy, who disappeared from the shelter Monday morning, was found in an enclosed outdoor play area wearing a fleece sweatshirt about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, when a staff member arrived for work, Executive Director Hillary Roberts said.

“We’re just thrilled,” she said Tuesday afternoon.

Roberts said whoever returned the dog left an anonymous note, saying that Candy was found in Augusta by people from out of state. The sweatshirt and note have been turned over to Augusta police, she said.

Among the reasons shelter staff were concerned about Candy’s disappearance was that she needs medicine for Lyme disease. Now that the dog is back her treatment can continue, Roberts said.

“We’ll probably keep her for a day or two, but she’ll be back up for adoption,” she said, adding, “She’s an extremely sweet dog. We should have no trouble finding her a home.”

Like Bell, Roberts said the attention the dog thefts received was a factor in the dogs’ return.

“I’m just so grateful. Hopefully, the action of the media and the police should send a signal that we don’t tolerate stealing dogs in Maine,” she said. “It’s a terrible ordeal to go through, not knowing if they’re safe or being cared for.”

Still missing is Selene, a red-and-white Pekingese mix stolen Saturday afternoon from the Animal Welfare Society’s shelter in West Kennebunk.

Manager Bobbi Allen said that the only leads that have come in to the shelter so far are from psychics, one of whom believed there was a connection to an elementary school and another who said Selene was “living with a young couple in Biddeford,” she said.

Anyone with information about Selene should call police or the shelter at 985-3244.

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