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Posted at 11:28 PM ET, 12/ 1/2010

Stolen pit bull is returned to shelter

By Alison Klein and Clarence Williams
Allison Klein

Update, 11:28 p.m.:

A pit bull puppy who was stolen from his cage at the Washington Humane Society this week, was returned to the Northeast Washington shelter on Wednesday, D.C. police and WHS officials said.

Ivan, a 4-month-old pit bull, was returned to authorities about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday to the shelter at 1201 New York Avenue, from which he was stolen on Monday, police and the humane society said. Officer Paul Metcalf, a spokesman, declined to release information about how the dog was returned.

Three suspects were recorded on surveillance video as they took Ivan from the shelter on Monday. The three picked up Ivan from his cage, then broke through a wooden fence behind the building and left, according to the humane society.

The dog's return was welcomed and he "appears to be generally healthy," said Scott Giacoppo, a humane society official. But he said officials were cautious about releasing the news late Wednesday, until Ivan could be evaulated by a vetrinarian.

"We wanted to make sure he got everything he needed before he got his five moments in the spotlight," Scott Giacoppo said.


Earlier:

Ivan, a 4-month-old pit bull puppy, was stolen from his cage by thieves posing as potential adopters at a Washington Humane Society shelter, group officials said.

Three suspects were recorded on surveillance video as they took Ivan from the shelter at New 1201 New York Avenue NE on Monday. The three picked up Ivan from his cage, then broke through a wooden fence behind the building and left, according to the WHS.


Ivan. (WHS)

"Ivan was waiting to go to a good home," said WHS President Lisa LaFontaine in a press release. "Instead he was kidnapped and now we have no idea what the perpetrators intend to do with him and, most importantly, whether he is getting the care and love he needs."

Ivan's owner surrendered him to the shelter on Nov. 9 and he had been waiting since to be adopted.

The group is offering a $1,000 reward for Ivan's safe return.

The Washington Humane Society does euthanize dogs, but the shelter does not do it after a specific amount of time, officials said.

District residents pay $185 to adopt a dog from the shelter, which includes $15 for a D.C. dog license. For others, it costs $170.

Potential adopters must pass a background check to be sure they do not have a history of animal cruelty. If they are renters, shelter personnel will call their landlords to be sure they are permitted to have pets. "It's rare that we turn people away," said spokeswoman Sabrina Fang.

Anyone with information about Ivan is asked to call the Washington Humane Society/DC Animal Care and Control at 202-724-3834.

This item has been updated since it was first published.

By Alison Klein and Clarence Williams  | December 1, 2010; 11:28 PM ET
Categories:  Allison Klein, Animal Stories, The District  
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Comments

they were micheal vicks cousins...the puppy will be raised to fight other dogs for betting purposes.

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | December 1, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Punks. Cut their hands off.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 1, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Poor guy. Why weren't these people being supervised? I also think he'll probably be used for fighting. I trust the local animal control folks are keeping an eye out for him.

Posted by: akchild | December 1, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Why did the owner give his dog up? Let's put the owner in a cage and abandon him/her. I can't stand people who don't adopt for life. It is a lifetime commitment. And dogs belong with the family not abandoned in the backyard.

Posted by: TG10 | December 1, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

This is a sad thing, but why in the world are they offering a reward this high?

Posted by: lhaller | December 1, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Lhaller, why shouldn't it be that high? I would gladly donate to get that dog back safely.From the looks of it, this puppy will be used as bait for pit bulls.

Posted by: Lucinda2 | December 1, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Damn illegal immigrants! They're stealing our jobs and now our dogs!

Posted by: cleanfront | December 1, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Why does this story show Ivan instead of the kidnappers? Ivan is cute but that photo doesn't help get him back. A screen grab from that video might. There's no way someone who would steal a pit bull has in mind a good, happy life for that dog. Change the photo asap. Seriously.

Posted by: JaneBeardIVL | December 1, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Other blogs have surveilance photos. This one should to.

Posted by: TheChileanPresidentIsMuchBetterRespondingToDisastersThanObama | December 1, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes, please use the screen grab of the faces of the thieves. Thanks for the article.

Posted by: possumlady1 | December 1, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

WaPo won't publish the surveillance still photos because 3 black males are the suspects:

http://washhumane.typepad.com/blog/2010/11/puppy-stolen-from-adoption-center-whs-offers-1000-reward.html

Posted by: williamhuxtan | December 1, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

some "people" should be neutered!!

Posted by: BRIANSWARTZ | December 1, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Whatever, media narrative... They probably don't have an enclosed fence but wanted a dog anyway.

Posted by: RandomAnon | December 1, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

TG10: "Ivan's owner surrendered him to the shelter"

For all we know, it could be owner getting revenge for being forced to give up his best friend.

Posted by: RandomAnon | December 1, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I feel sorry that the pup was stolen, but I also hope they give him a good home and plenty of love, however I said I hope. But as far as Washington Humane Society goes they probably stole the dog because you know that lie you said you hardly ever turn people away that's a lie because I know this lady that said because of something that happened 25 yrs ago with a dog they had a dog fight, that address can never adopt a dog no matter how much love it has to give but you all are just like the adoption agency in DC your judgment is bad, you will let a crazy family adopt some kids to kill and dogs to people to beat and abuse than too really make sure by going by once a week or more to surprise them to make sure no harm has come. But that's too much like right. You people on NY AVE and GA AVE don't have a clue. They need to get some people that really care about people and animals in these places. Who knows maybe they stole the pup for a Christmas present. Lets just hope so.

Posted by: goldengrl614 | December 1, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Post the surveillance video!!!! So people can identify the criminals!!! This makes me so sick. How were these 3 men allowed access to this area. How were they potential adopters- did they first fill out forms and have ID??? Why won't the Post put up screen grabs or video? They clearly stole the pup, and he needs to be found ASAP!!!

Posted by: lakeijoy | December 1, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Post the surveillance video!!!! So people can identify the criminals!!! This makes me so sick. How were these 3 men allowed access to this area of the shelter. How were they potential adopters- did they first fill out forms and have ID??? Why won't the Post put up screen grabs or video? They clearly stole the pup, and he needs to be found ASAP!!!

Posted by: lakeijoy | December 1, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Surveillance video available on the DCist.com post: http://dcist.com/2010/11/puppy_stolen_from_washington_humane.php

Posted by: surly4130 | December 1, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse


Ditto on the need for the surveillance photos.

Poor puppy -- his future is grim if he's not found soon.

Perhaps the shelter should now institute a competent security protocol -- such as no unsupervised visits in the dog area and requiring that a driver's license be forfeited at the front desk.


Posted by: Gidgmom | December 1, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=173262499359102&oid=142558124915&comments for another way to view the video of the kid(puppy)nappers.

I hope these guys get the crap beat out of them. I'm glad Humane Society and other adoption organizations make it so difficult for people to adopt their animals. Too many people adopt animals and don't understand what actually goes into taking care of them; they consider the animals akin to inanimate property that can be easily disposed of when it no longer suits their needs.

This shows that pit bulls are not inherently evil, too, like so many suggest. The little guy just let three men come in and take him without putting up a fight. This may suggest that they were his previous owners. If that's the case, they're still undeserving of this adorable puppy if they gave him up in the first place.

And, by the way, Humane Society cannot just go around confiscating people's animals when they think they're being mistreated. That is what animal care and control does. It's a legal process conducted by law enforcement officials.

Posted by: cartoongal | December 1, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I look at the three in the videos and I feel like Ivan's fate is studding off the books.

Posted by: RandomAnon | December 1, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Cartoongal --

Great post, good info and I share your sentiments.

A neighbor adopted a horribly abused pit bull female a couple of years ago that ended up at WHS after being seen thrown from a moving car. Estimated to be two years old at the time, she had a large scar on the top of her head and apparently had been used as a breeding machine.

A few months after my friend adopted her she was certified as a therapy dog. She's an absolute sweetheart of a pup. Many dogs have shown an amazing capacity to forgive the cruelty of people.

I'm not so forgiving.

Gidgmom

Posted by: Gidgmom | December 1, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Why the H are the pictures of the thieves not posted here? Ms. Klein, wake up.

http://washhumane.typepad.com/blog/2010/11/puppy-stolen-from-adoption-center-whs-offers-1000-reward.html

A Concerned Pitbull Owner

Posted by: RosslynSack | December 1, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks that this is just about a dog is ignorant about what dog fighting and these sketchy breeders are involved in: child brutality, crimes against women, the list goes on. Dog fighting is a culture that involves things that hurt the greater community, not just animals. The animals end up sick and/or violent and the public must pick up the tab.

These men must be nabbed. Their entire ring should be busted. What fat slobs. Get real jobs losers.

Posted by: FiatBooks | December 1, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Per the Washington TIMES, Ivan has been recovered!! Sounds like folks identified the culprits from the surveillance video that was posted on other websites- thank goodness for that. Still astounded that Washington POST did not choose to post any pics/video when this puppy was missing and its life at risk!

Posted by: lakeijoy | December 1, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Per the Washington TIMES, Ivan has been recovered!! Sounds like folks identified the culprits from the surveillance video that was posted on other websites- thank goodness for that. Still astounded that Washington POST did not choose to post any pics/video when this puppy was missing and its life at risk!

Posted by: lakeijoy | December 1, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Per the Washington TIMES, Ivan has been recovered!! Sounds like folks identified the culprits from the surveillance video that was posted on other websites- thank goodness for that. Still astounded that Washington POST did not choose to post any pics/video when this puppy was missing and its life at risk!

Posted by: lakeijoy | December 1, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse


Bravo! That is great news - thanks!


Posted by: Gidgmom | December 1, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I hope that the FBI is willing to assist in digitally enhancing the video so the faces are much clearer. I also hope that donations come in to the shelter to increase the reward for information. These people have to be stopped.

USHS also needs to review it's security policy. The thieves should not have been able to access the secure area. Of course, there is the possibility that someone inside the shelter assisted them. Not a nice thing to think about, but possible.

Posted by: nailahjordan | December 1, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Wards of DYRS's Finest were the perps....

DC HAS to do something about these folks under their watch!

Posted by: joebananas1 | December 1, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

DYRS claims they are unable to do anything about monitoring the children in their custody. What they really mean is that they are unwilling to monitor them.

Posted by: nailahjordan | December 2, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Good News!

Posted by: ggant | December 2, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad to hear Ivan is back safely. I hope this little guy gets a good home. :-)

Posted by: akchild | December 2, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Ivan's back! Yay.

The video of his abduction was released on Washington, DC outlets yesterday morning.

I saw it between 5 and 6 am on WNBC, which I believe, was the first to break the story.

According to today's DC TV stations, the WHS will release more information on Ivan later today.

The big question now is how the WHS will improve facility security, both inside their building and repairing/replacing the fence through which the dognappers escaped.

Posted by: Sandirs1 | December 2, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Airing that surveillance video was a great idea although it really made a lot of us worry about that puppy! Those guys looked BAD but now they are probably shaking in their boots knowing they are close to being identified.

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | December 2, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I guess they didn't want to look so bad after they were on the video. But no surprise who stole this poor dog and why. Either to look like gangstas on the corner or use him for dog fighting or bait. Maybe some good citizen can identify these clowns and cap them on the street.

Posted by: ridingcrops | December 2, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I AM SO GLAD IVAN WAS RETURNED TO THE SHELTER AND IS SAFE. I PRAY THAT HE WILL BE ADOPTED INTO A GOOD HOME.

Posted by: pburton1 | December 2, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I AM SO GLAD IVAN WAS RETURNED TO THE SHELTER AND IS SAFE. I PRAY THAT HE WILL BE ADOPTED INTO A GOOD HOME.

Posted by: pburton1 | December 2, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Kill the puppy thieves!!! Kill them all!!!!!! Thank you, typical WP rant. Im here all week. Lucky for you its already Thursday.

Posted by: ged0386 | December 2, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse


Have you ever heard of a place called "123 Get Samples" on the web, they give out a free samples of major brands to promote their products. I just got mine.

Posted by: kathrynmerry | December 3, 2010 5:03 AM | Report abuse

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