March 28, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---Drive-by dog snatchers are targeting animals right where you live, and deputies say it's becoming an trend.
Pit bull owner Terry Ramsey is a victim of the trend. This week marks the second time puppies have disappeared from his yard.
His experience tells him their lives could be in danger. But one puppy's amazing journey gives him new hope.
Miles of thick woods and a chain-link collar were no match for Queen. She found her own way back to Terry Ramsey's front porch.
It was a happy reunion for what's left of her family.
"I'm here by myself, and my friends gave me puppies for companionship so I wouldn't be lonely," Terry told News 12.
But five of his other companions are still out there...and he's worried the rest of the puppies are next.
"They're my babies. They're my grandkids. That's all I have."
The sheriff's department says reports like this can happen up to several times a week. The dognappers drive up to a house, steal the puppies out of the yard, and take off. But why?
"Well, number one, they are valuable," said Sgt. Ken Eskew. "Pit bulls are popular. They're a popular breed."
Sgt. Eskew says sometimes people take breeds like pit bulls for fighting, but more often, it's for resale on the black market.
Whatever the reason, Terry has good cause to worry. Another one of his puppies turned up with a possible broken neck, and Terry had to bury it in his back yard. It's sad for both him and the mother.
"Now she's sick," Terry said. "She's running around, looking for her babies. She wants her babies."
They both have new hope after one baby broke the chain, braved the woods, and made it home.
Ramsey says he saw teenagers in his back yard over the past couple of days. He suspects they took his pets.
The sheriff's department says puppies are targeted more often than dogs, and the best thing you can do is keep a close watch on them when they're outside.
The sheriff's department says pit bulls and bulldogs are the breeds thieves most commonly target.