ROWAN COUNTY, NC – The sheriff’s office says three dogs were stolen from the Rowan County Animal Shelter. Now, they believe the same suspects stole dogs in another county.
Three bulls, including one named Wessie, were stolen from their kennels early Monday morning.
“That is definitely a big concern. Staff are very attached to that one special person who has been here a little bit longer and so it was just a very emotional moment for everyone,” said Maria Pannell, assistant director at Rowan County Animal Shelter. “What happened to them when they left? Are they safe, are they in good shape? Will we get them back? “
Pannell said Wessie and another dog were found safe in Davidson County and are now both back at the shelter.
Investigators told Channel 9’s Gina Esposito they arrested 19-year-old Joe Lee Jeanis on Thursday morning. He is facing charges of breaking into a Davidson County animal shelter and stealing two dogs that morning.
The sheriff’s office believes he then drove to Salisbury, stole three dogs out of a Rowan County shelter and also attempted to break into the Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary just six miles away. Investigators said Jeanis could face charges in Rowan County.
“They found the front gate had been forced open and damaged,” said John Sifford, sheriff’s office.
Davidson County deputies said Jeanis was found in a motel in Lexington with several dogs. They said a 17-year-old girl was also in custody.
Parnell said they still can’t say for sure why anyone would do this.
“Motivation is one of those things we’ve all racked our brains with trying to figure out. But at the moment we don’t know,” she said. “It is good to know they will return to care. They will be fed. They will be protected. We expect them to be adopted fairly quickly.”
Investigators are still working to find a dog and return it to a shelter.
Channel 9 reviewed our archives and found that in 2015 another dog was stolen from the Rowan County Animal Shelter. We then said the establishment added more padlocks to the outside crib.
(SEE BELOW: The owner of the lost dog says the animal shelter will not return the pet once it is found)
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