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Tag: richard cochran

After escape, Max the pit mix put down

Police in Alameda have put down Max, the pit bull mix who on the day of his scheduled euthanization was allegedly stolen from the city’s animal shelter by his owners and driven to Reno.

The 70-pound animal was put down Saturday, the San Jose Mercury-News reported.

The dog had been picked up earlier that day, after being tracked down in Reno and brought back to California.

The dog’s owner Richard Cochran, 57, is expected to appear in Alameda County Superior Court today, where he will face felony burglary and conspiracy charges.

His girlfriend, Melissa Perry, 38, was arrested Thursday at the same motel in Reno where police located Max.

Police say the couple broke into the Alameda shelter and stole the dog, who had been declared dangerous after biting two people.

Fugitive pit bull found in Reno, owner cited

Max, the fugitive pit bull, is back in custody, and he’s scheduled to be euthanized next week.

The a 3-year-old, 70-pound red nose pit bull — sprung from an animal shelter in Alameda, California — was located at a Reno motel and placed in a local shelter.

An Alameda animal control officer will drive to Reno on Monday to retrieve Max, after which the dog will be destroyed, Alameda police Sgt. Jill Ottaviato said Friday.

Max’s co-owner Melissa Perry, 38, was found with the dog and was cited by Reno police for possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. An arrest warrant was also issued for Perry in Alameda County Friday on charges of burglary and receiving stolen property.

Police say Perry and her boyfriend, Richard Cochran, 57, conspired to free Max from the Alameda shelter the day before he was to be euthanized in connection with having bitten two people.

Cochran appeared in an Oakland courtroom Friday on charges of second-degree commercial burglary and receiving stolen property, both felonies, and he is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

Perry, in a phone interview with the Chronicle Friday morning from Reno,  said someone had tipped animal control officials to Max’s whereabouts.

“I don’t care about going to jail,” Perry said. “It’s not about me, it’s about Max. He’s my protector. That’s my companion. That’s my best friend.”

Perry said neither she nor Cochran had anything to do with the break-in at the animal shelter Wednesday — the day after an Alameda County Superior Court commissioner ordered Max destroyed.

But after the hearing, police say, Cochran bought a set of bolt cutters, and the couple’s pickup truck was seen on surveillance video taken outside the animal shelter the morning of the break-in.

Cochran told police that two other people were involved in the plot to free Max, but investigators said they now doubt that story.

“There are people all over this country who form strong emotional attachments to their pets, particularly dogs, and I think many people feel as though that dog, that animal, is part of their family,” said Demetrius Costy, Cochran’s attorney.

“The idea that a pet is going to be executed could cause someone to be very distraught,” Costy said, “which could lead someone to act out of character.”

Owner charged in dog’s death row escape

A California pit bull was sprung from death row by the couple who owns him, police say, and he’s apparently being driven across the country in an attempt to elude euthanasia.

Police say an Alameda couple concocted a scheme to free their pit bull, Max, from the Alameda Animal Shelter, which, because he’d been deemed a dangerous dog, was planning to euthanize him Wednesday.

Authorities arrested one of the suspects, Richard Cochran, 57. Cochran admitted to formulating a plan to steal the three-year-old dog from the shelter with Melissa Perry, 38, his girlfriend of 17 years, and two other people whose identities haven’t been confirmed, police said.

He denied playing any other role in stealing the dog, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Perry, meanwhile, called the Chronicle on Thursday evening, saying Max was with her and that a friend was driving them across the country. “I’m almost to Kentucky,” she said.

Perry told the newspaper that, while neither she nor Cochran had anything to do with the break-in, she had told friends she wished someone would “break him out.”

“Max doesn’t deserve to be euthanized. Considering the circumstances, I think he deserves a chance.”

Police say the dog is dangerous. “If anyone comes into contact with the dog and this woman, I really want to stress that they should take caution,” said police Sgt. Jill Ottaviano. “This is a very dangerous animal. It is very protective of this woman.”

Max had bitten two people. While being examined at an animal hospital in Oakland, he bit a veterinary technician. The dog was ordered to be quarantined at his home in an Alameda motel after that, but during the quarantine he bit a friend of the couple.

The animal shelter was ready to euthanize Max on Tuesday, after a court order was issued. The court commissioner agreed that the dog would be kept alive one more day to allow Cochran and Perry to say goodbye.

When shelter staff arrived for work Wednesday morning they discovered someone had used bolt cutters to cut through a cyclone fence and break the lock on the kennel where Max had been staying.

(Photo: Alameda Police Department)