Three dogs were killed and about 12 were missing from a Jurupa Valley animal shelter on Sunday, where police and county animal officials believe someone broke in to purposely release the animals.
Two small dogs — a Yorkshire Terrier mix and a Chihuahua — were found dead by shelter employees this morning.
Dr. Sara Strongin of Riverside County Animal Services examined the dogs and said the wounds were not consistent with bite wounds. A full necropsy will be performed on the dogs to provide further details.
A third dog, a German Shepard, was hit by a car and killed about a mile from the shelter later in the day, said John Welsh of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
Surveillance footage showed a man in dark clothing breaking locks on 22 kennel doors at the Riverside County Animal Services’ main shelter in Jurupa Valley at 6851 Van Buren Blvd., said Welsh. Fifteen locks appeared to be cut with a bolt cutter or broken by force.
“Three or four dozen” dogs were found unharmed and wandering around the shelter,” Welsh said.
At midafternoon, 12 dogs were missing or unaccounted for from the shelter’s current inventory of animals.
Sheriff’s deputies investigated and reviewed surveillance footage to try and get an image of the suspect or suspects.
“This is pretty stunning for us. Sometimes, someone might want to break in to get their dog out without having to pay impound fees or fines, but I don’t recall anything like this,” said Welsh. “We’re upset, shocked and angry that someone could do this to innocent animals.”
The Department of Animal Services asked that anyone with information log into the “Crime Tips” section of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department website, where photos of the surveillance footage featuring the suspect will be uploaded.
— City News Service
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