Pit Bulls Rescued From Dogfighting Ring Stolen From Paterson Animal Shelter

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Two pit bulls that were saved from a dogfighting ring were stolen from the Paterson, N.J. city animal shelter overnight.

Thieves cut holes in the shelter’s fence and in the dogs’ cages.

Nothing else was stolen.

“They came in here with bolt cutters,” John DeCando, the Director of the Paterson Animal Shelter told CBS2’s Christine Sloan. “I realized there were two dogs missing, and the two dogs that are missing are the same two dogs that were taken out of a dog fighting ring.”

The dogs were rescued from a dogfight inside a building on East 16th Street on May 1. A third dog involved in the fight is recovering in an animal hospital.

“We’re trying to find a home for them because they’re extremely dangerous and vicious to other dogs,” DeCando told 1010 WINS. “To people, they’re friendly, but to other dogs, they would really do harm.”

Jude, the third dog that was rescued in the raid, was near death but is now thriving and waiting to be adopted by a family, Sloan reported.

For more on Jude’s recovery and adoption information, click here.

An organization called Pathway to Hope was rehabilitating the stolen dogs too.

Three people were initially charged with running the dogfighting ring.

“This is definitely in connection with that,” said Robert Boyle of the Passaic County ASPCA. “They stole the two dogs that were their prize dogs. They’re very expensive, probably worth $10,000 each.”

The suspects also apparently came across a possible witness, Sloan reported.

“It sounded like they robbed somebody on their way out stealing the dogs,” said Boyle.

The stolen dogs are black pit bulls that weigh about 50 pounds.

Police are now analyzing security video for clues on the dognappers, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.

“It’s a shame that they’re not friendly toward other dogs,” DeCando said. “But we were working on someone to take them, through Second Chance and a few other organizations, to put them in a foster home.”

DeCando said it’s heartbreaking to think that these pit bulls might be forced back into the fighting ring.

“Their fate is up in the air right now because I don’t know where they are,” he said. “I hope they can catch them. There is no such thing as bad anmals in the world. It’s bad people in the world.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call the shelter at (973) 881-3640.

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