If you are a dog owner in St. Lawrence County, use extra caution next time you let your dog out.
Reports have been coming in over the past few months of dogs vanishing within a 26 mile radius of St. Lawrence County. According to St. Lawrence County Animal Control Officer James McConkey, an estimated 17 dogs have gone inexplicably missing from the area, with no one breed being singled out. Dogs ranging from puppies to seniors of all breeds are being taken from their owners, with the only similarity being that most have have been unneutered males.
Dog owners in the area are shaken and scared, as these dogs are not only being taken, but they’re being taken from tethers and fenced-in back yards from their owners’ property.
Scott Niles, the owner of a purebred Collie named Rusty (below) who was taken from him, is worried he’ll never see his dog again. “It’s like they took a member of my family,” Niles told The Huffington Post, “It’s just one of the worst feelings in the world.”
Niles also told reporters Rusty has a condition called hip dysplasia, and if he doesn’t get the proper medication, he will surely suffer in the hands of his captors.
Authorities in the county believe the dogs are being taken as part of an area wide dog-theft ring, where it’s possible they are being taken downstate to be sold illegally. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in St. Lawrence County, and with 10 dogs going missing in under 3 weeks, officers are fairly certain they are dealing with serious criminal activity.
If you or anyone you know has any information on the whereabouts of these animals, please contact the sheriff’s office at 379-2222 or Mr. McConkey at 323-4550 or 323-1619.