Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Teen Steals Dogs from Shelter in Order to Make Money off of Dog Fights.

Again, more on the evils of dog fighting.

Teen charged in theft of dogs

One allegedly used in fight was so badly hurt it had to be put down


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First published: Tuesday, January 31, 2006

COLONIE -- A Cohoes teenager is facing charges that he stole two pit bulls from the Mohawk & Hudson River Humane Society and allegedly used one of them in a dog fight.

The dog used for fighting was later found on a street in Rensselaer and was so severely injured that it had to be euthanized, Menands Police Chief Michael O'Brien said.

Michael R. Sumner, 17, of Kosciusko Avenue in Cohoes, was arrested Sunday after a police investigation and charged with one count of burglary, a felony, as well as one count of criminal mischief and two counts of petit larceny, all misdemeanors.

O'Brien said Sumner broke into the shelter on two occasions. On Jan. 18, he allegedly stole a 3-year-old female pit bull named Momma, and on the night of Jan. 22, authorities said, he returned and stole Archie, a 3-year-old male pit bull/American bulldog that was found less than two days later lying on a street in Rensselaer.

The animal had bite marks across his body and injuries to his intestines that were so severe that Archie was brought to the East Greenbush Animal Hospital, where doctors determined they had to euthanize the animal.

"He was just a big galoot, waiting for rescue," said Cydney Cross, manager of the Mohawk & Hudson River Humane Society. "The greatest crime was that he was just a heavy, goofy dog, and the person who took him thought he would be a fighting dog. These dogs do not choose to do this."

After police located Sumner, the other dog -- Momma -- was found unharmed in Rensselaer and returned to the shelter. Cross said she believes Sumner wanted to use Momma to breed pit bull pups.

After the first burglary in which Momma was stolen, Cross said Sumner showed up at the shelter, claiming to be looking for his father's dog. He was shown a number of animals and told shelter employees that Archie was the dog he was looking for. But since he did not have proof of ownership, the shelter would not let him take the dog, Cross said.

That weekend, Archie turned up missing.

The same day Archie was euthanized, his owner, an Albany man who said he had lost Archie, showed up to claim him and was told what happened.

"The poor young man was in tears," Cross said. "He kept saying, 'Why did they have to do this to my dog?' "

Rensselaer police are investigating to see if additional charges of dog fighting or animal cruelty can be lodged against Sumner in that municipality and who else was involved.

Sumner is being held in the Albany County jail in lieu of $2,500 bail.

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