Two Florida runaways were caught stealing two puppies from Save-A-Pet to be their companions on Friday.
The Save-A-Pet shelter near Juliette told deputy Judy Mercer on March 6 that two small mixed breed puppies had been stolen from their kennels on the previous day. A laundry basket, a dog bed, and other items were also taken. The manager said that two females, one white and one mixed, driving a maroon, older model, two-door Ford Explorer with Polk County, Fla. plates had come to the shelter inquiring about pit bulls and puppies. The manager told one girl that she could view their dogs in the outside kennels and to let her know if she had any questions. Meanwhile, the other girl sat in a chair in front of the shelter holding a puppy. The first girl asked about two puppies but was told they were unavailable because they needed vaccinations and that they would not be able to adopt out-of-state because the shelter required house and yard checks. The woman said her dad lived in the area and a house check could be done at his home.
The manager said that two girls were not acting normally, asking questions that didn’t make sense. The girls also inquired about adopting a cat but were informed none were available. The girls explained they were helping someone move to Helen, Ga. and an employee observed that their vehicle was full of clothes, bags and miscellaneous items. Their car was also missing a hub cap. The manager again told the girls that no puppies or cats were available. They thanked her and left the facility.
But later, security cameras showed the two girls returned to the facility after it was closed. One of the girls came through the woods, climbed over some fences and through a gate to enter the property. She crawled through a doggie door from an outside kennel and entered the shelter. While inside, she went through various items and took a basket with pet toys. She then went into the puppy cage, took two puppies and put them in the basket. She was seen covering the puppies with a dog bed and leaving the building through the rear door. She exited the property through the same fenced kennel area where she entered.
Sheriff Brad Freeman said the 15 year old girls and puppies were found, one in Lithonia and the second in Lake Wales, Fla. They will be charged with burglary as juveniles and were turned over to their parents. The puppies were in good condition and returned to Save-A-Pet.