Owners worry missing dogs were stolen


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- For many of us, pets are like family and when pets disappear people can panic. In some central Kentucky counties, pets are missing, and their owners think they may have been taken.

Wendy Howard just found her 7-year-old olde english bulldog, Gracie, Thursday night. She went missing Sunday.

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“They’re part of your family. When they’re missing, you want to find them,” Howard said.

On Sunday afternoon Howard let Gracie out. Soon after, she just disappeared. Howard says Gracie isn’t very mobile so she thinks someone may have taken her.

“It’s horrifying,” Howard said.

After combing the property, Howard hopped on Facebook to spread the word. Soon, other dog owners reached out to her saying their dogs had similarly disappeared from neighboring counties around the same time frame. Strangely, all of them seem like larger pure-bred dogs.

“It’s kind of like a nightmare. You don’t want it to keep spinning out of control,” Howard said.

There isn’t much police can do. In Boyle County, the Sheriff says Howard is the only one to make a report. His office can’t investigate if it’s not getting information.

In Garrard County, the Sheriff is sending owners to the shelter where director Brittany Fain says about a dozen dogs are missing from her county alone.

“With 12 dogs missing, somebody’s bound to seen ’em somewhere or they’re causing havoc somewhere and they want ’em picked up. We haven’t heard a word,” Fain said.

She says with a bunch missing, it could mean someone is stealing dogs for a fighting ring or resale.

“People think they’re fixing to make money off dogs. It’s not worth it for stealing someone’s family. It’s really not,” Fain said.

She says until she knows what’s going on, she’s telling owners to keep a watchful eye over their fur babies.

Howard got a tip about Gracie Thursday afternoon and found her soon after by the side of a road. She hopes Kentucky will create some kind of missing pet registry in the future.

If your pet is missing call local law enforcement. Fain says you can also call the Garrard County Animal Shelter and leave information anonymously (859) 792-1562.