ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Five pit bulls were stolen from animal shelters in a cross-county theft in Rowan and Davidson counties.
The Rowan County Animal Shelter says they’re upset that two suspects got in and stole dogs, and they’re taking a look at their lock-up procedures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Lightning, the pit bull, is not a big fan of the camera, but he likes people.
“He just put his paw up on my arm wanting that attention, he’s a real big baby,” said Maria Pannell, the Rowan County Animal Shelter Assistant Director.
Lightning was dognapped from the Rowan County Animal Shelter.
Deputies say thieves broke in and stole Lightning and two other pit bulls.
“We were very shaken to think that somebody would come in and do that and there’s always the concern for the animal’s safety, are they in any immediate danger?” said Pannell.
Investigators say the dognappers did not stop there.
Detectives say they went nearby to the Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary, also in Rowan County, and tried to break in there, destroying a fence on the property, but not snatching any animals.
Deputies say the pair crossed into Davidson County and stole two more pit bulls from the county animal shelter.
“It’s just, ‘What was the purpose of taking the dogs? Are they going to be causing them harm? Are they going to be feeding them?” said Pannell.
But Rowan County’s fears were relieved when they got a call from Davidson County that they found Wessie, a pit bull, that had a microchip.
Then, they brought home Lightning from Davidson County after deputies there arrested a 20-year-old man, Joe Lee Jeanis, and a 17-year-old woman for stealing the dogs.
The Davidson County Sheriff tells Queen City News Jeanis is charged with two counts of felony larceny of an animal in Davidson County, and the 17-year-old’s case is being handled in the juvenile system.
“It was that moment where we were like ok, we’re going to be able to call these folks and find him a home,” said Pannell.
Wessie got adopted. Lightning is still waiting for his forever home.
Thunder, a dog that was brought into the shelter at the same time as Lightning, has not been found.
Deputies say he ran from the thieves, and they’re still searching for him in Davidson County.