Huntsville hit by rash of dog thefts

A seven-month old pit bull dog was stolen Friday afternoon from the 700 block of I-45, adding to the increasing number of dogs reported stolen in the Huntsville area over the last few months. Huntsville Police Detective Marvin Hyvl said the 35-pound, buckskinned dog was taken out of the owners yard, chain and all, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Friday. The dog has black on his nose and a white chest. “The owner was only gone for a couple of hours,” Hyvl said. “When he returned the dog was gone.” There have been four pit bulls stolen from residences on Geneva Road and three stolen off of Riverside Drive. These thefts, along with numerous others, are causing concern with many dog owners. “Its scary,” said junior Amanda Wise, who owns a pit bull. “My dog is part of my family and if something happened to her I dont know what Id do.” While Clyde, an American Bulldog reported stolen in February, was recovered last weekend, he is the only dog that has been found. “The dog (Clyde) was found near Parkwood Apartments close to where it was taken from,” said Detective Hyvl. “While no charges have been filed the case is currently under investigation.” Hyvl could not comment as to whether there is a connection between Clyde and the other thefts.Clyde had suffered multiple injuries and was taken to the vet where he had to undergo surgery to repair his wounds. He is now with his owner. “The dog had apparently been in a fight,” Hyvl said. “People are stealing these dogs to fight them or breed them.”As with any animal, raising dogs to fight is against the law. “This is cruelty to animals,” Hyvl said. “It upsets me and we are doing what we can to stop it.”While Hyvl said there are not many leads, he did say that one incident was reported to police.”We received information about suspicious vehicles in one neighborhood after there were dogs stolen,” he said. “One of the cars got stuck in the mud and a white truck pulled it out. That is all we have.”Hyvl stresses the importance of being proactive rather than reactive.”People need to report suspicious activities in their neighborhoods before something happens,” he said. “You know suspicious vehicles or people who dont belong. Call the police.” Hyvl said there are several things you can do to protect your dog. “First of all get to know your neighbors,” he said. “Let them know when you leave so they can report anything suspicious.” He also said to keep dog pens locked. “(These thefts) upset me,” Hyvl said. “We are trying to work these cases as fast as we can.” If you have any information about these thefts, contact Hyvl at the Huntsville Police Department at (936) 291-5480.

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