Austin Animal Center asks public for help after dogs stolen

Image 1 of 3

The Austin Animal Center believes four pitbulls were stolen from the rescue this month. Interim Chief Animal Services Officer, Kimberly McNeeley, says two dogs -- Lilly, who is a year old, and Dimitri, a two-year-old dog, disappeared on Thursday, June 13. 

McNeeley says the shelter began to search for the dogs, to ensure they did not misplace them on campus. Or, that they were not with a rescue or shelter partner, and simply unaccounted for in notes.

When that search turned up dry, they began to review security flaws and footage. 

The following Monday, June 17, two more dogs went missing. Rex, a two-year-old, and Jeff a four-year-old. None of the dogs have been spayed or neutered. Rex and Lilly are both microchipped.

The center filed a police report Wednesday. “Our main concern is about the welfare of the animals. We take it very seriously, and we care about those animals.” McNeeley said. 

McNeeley says the shelter, home to more than 800 dogs, isn’t sure how this happened. However, they are assessing vulnerabilities. She says that includes the shelter's camera system, access coding system, and exit spaces -- “determining whether some of them should be alarmed.” 

Currently, it is not protocol for those who wish to interact with and or walk a shelter dog on property, to provide the shelter with their information.

There are exits, such as a fire exit, and the front door, they could utilize to walk off with a dog. 

Anyone with information is asked to call 3-1-1.