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Tag: theft

Miracle on Baltimore’s 34th Street

Through the month of December, Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) has been holding a bake sale on 34th Street, an area of Baltimore known for its over-the-top display of Christmas lights.

In addition to raising money for the shelter, BARCS is using the opportunity to educate the public about the shelter and about pit bulls – and how, despite the stereotypes, they aren’t innately evil. Generally, when a pit bull turns bad, it’s a human who has turned him that way.

As if to prove that point — that our problem is not bad dogs, it’s bad humans – a particularly heartless member of the latter species approached the BARCS booth last night, asked a BARCS volunteer if the money was being raised for charity, then ran off with the donation box.

A BARCS staff person chased the thief down the street, and he was eventually caught by another man and an off-duty firefighter.  When police arrived, the box of donations was recovered and the suspect was arrested.

Meanwhile, back at the BARCS booth, 34th Street residents and citizens there to enjoy the lights came forward in droves, offering assistance and donations to replace those that had been stolen.

“Yes, we DO believe in Santa Claus!” BARCS said in a press release yesterday.

 BARCS will be selling baked goods on 34th Street from 7 to 9 p.m. every night through December 31.

Stolen “Blue Dog” paintings recovered

New Orleans police recovered two “Blue Dog” paintings taken Monday from George Rodrigue’s French Quarter gallery and say they appear to be in good condition.

The paintings were found in a warehouse, and the search continues for the suspected thief, the Times-Picayune reported.

Police are looking for Lee Szakats, 60, of New Orleans in connection with the thefts.

Police said two tips helped lead to the recovery of the artworks.  A tipster identified Szakats as a suspect seen in surveillance videos walking into Rodrigue’s gallery Monday afternoon and walking out with the small paintings in a shopping bag.

A second tipster called the gallery, telling them where the paintings could be found.

Rodrigue, a Cajun artist, is best known for his blue dog paintings.

(Photo: Hilary Scheinuk / The Times-Picayune)

Poop II: Town cancels its free bag program

Officials in the otherwise affluent Minnesota town of Edina say free dog poop bags will no longer be placed in dispensers at city parks.

The reason? Folks were emptying the dispensers only hours after they were being filled, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

“People walk up and take them until they’re gone,” he said. “And it’s not just one isolated incident. It’s everywhere and often.”

John Keprios, director of parks and recreation for the city of Edina, said the $12,000-per-year poop bag program was halted at eight parks that formerly stocked the bags.

“I would have loved to have kept providing them,” Keprios said. “Financially, it’s not just feasible if they treat it that way.”

One wonders how much it cost to put up the signs notifying people of that at the eight parks.

(Photo: Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Despite arrest, stolen dog still missing

grazio(Update: Grazio has been found and returned to his owner. Fox News reports she received a call from a man in Catonsville who had the dog. “I can’t give specific details … but I thank him,” the dog’s owner said.)

Police have arrested a suspect in the heist of a Baltimore woman’s $4,000 puppy.

Catherine Bergholz, who described her nine-week-old puppy, Grazio, as a show dog, told police the dog was taken on Thursday.

“Can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I’m already up to smoking four packs of cigarettes a day,” Bergholz told WJZ-TV. “Just to think that someone would do this to me is horrible. That was not just a dog; that was my baby.”

Grazio is an American Bully, a breed established in the 1990s and not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. The breed was created by crossing American Staffordshire terriers with American pit bull terriers.

While Bergholz was gone from her Curtis Bay home last Thursday, a man opened her door, grabbed the puppy and ran to his car, a witness told police. A nearby security camera took pictures of that car and police soon arrested Ronald Johnson. Johnson has told police he doesn’t know where Grazio is.

The owner is offering a reward for the safe return of the dog. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

Students’ hard work foiled by thief

Students at Woodlands High School in Conroe, Texas raised $9,000 to help purchase a land-mine sniffing dog — only to see the money snatched by a thief.

Teacher Susan Hollier  said about 2,000 people from across the community attended a Woodlands High School walk and fundraising festival on Saturday.

Two student clubs — Interact and the Council on International Affairs — started working on the project in February, with hopes of raising $20,000 to pay for the purchase and training of a Belgian Malinois. The dogs are sent around the world to detect mines so communities in such places as Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam can use the land again.

Part of the money raised was also going to pay for a Woodlands High student to travel to Bosnia to see the dogs in action. The clubs’ project dog was going to visit the high school in May.

Around noon Saturday, though, a suspect grabbed a box of donated money from a student and ran, according to the Houston Chronicle. Hollier said all but $253 was stolen.

“It’s really just heartbreaking, especially when this one dog would save up to 10,000 lives in its five to seven years of service,” said Shelby Howard, 18, president of Interact. “It’s really hard to see all our hard work just taken from us in a matter of seconds. It’s hard to believe someone would go to that level.”

What are the clubs going to do about it? Start all over again, Shelby said. “We’re definitely not going to just let it go. This is a worthy cause.”

Two more reasons to not leave dog in car

stolenyorkiewiliam040410The first comes from Washington, D.C., where a woman left her Yorkshire terrier in her car Saturday while she popped into a laundromat. When she returned, her car window was smashed and her beloved William was gone.

“He’s so much a part of my family. Everyone that knows him loves him. I know he’s scared right now. I can’t sleep because I know he’s scared, and he doesn’t know these people. He’s not gonna eat. They just need to get him back,” Denise Conner-Battle told ABC 7 News.

The second comes from Middleton, Wisconsin, where a dog left in a car while his owner stopped for lunch Thursday somehow managed to shift the car from park to neutral.

Police said the car rolled out of its parking spot and into a pickup truck across the lot. Damage to both vehicles was estimated in the thousands of dollars, according to an Associated Press report. The dog was fine.

Boy and dog reunited after puppy robbery

The puppy that was stolen from a 13-year-old Montgomery County boy on Saturday was reunited with him on Sunday, authorities said.

Montgomery County police said a man in the Montgomery Village area discovered the missing 8-week-old puppy on his porch Sunday morning, recognized it from television reports and telephoned police.

Police later brought the dog to the boy’s home in the Gaithersburg/Montgomery Village area, the Washington Post reported

The dog, whose name is Yeti, was taken about 2 p.m. Saturday as the boy was walking with the 8-week-old puppy near Snouffer School Road and Ridge Heights Drive, police said. Montgomery County Police said the unnamed boy was approached by two other youths, who grabbed the puppy and ran.

A neighbor said  the boy was “pretty distraught,” after the robbery, but ”very excited” to have the puppy back. Neighbors said the boy and Yeti were out playing again in their neighborhood Sunday.

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