PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - In addition to the usual work of tracking 500 animals at Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, Director Dianne Sauve is facing new concerns. In two days, two different crimes have occurred.
The first happened in the early morning hours of Monday. Sauve says somebody climbed their facility's six-foot security fence, tore through a screen and broke a lock to steal a dog. It is unclear who took the dog, but the dog had been there since Friday.
"The owner refused to pay fees to get his dog back," she said.
A report filed with Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office states the owner of the animal, "became extremely irate after finding out that he had to pay over $400 in order to release the dog because it had to be neutered, which he refused to do." The report states the owner made verbal threats against an employee at Animal Care and Control.
It is unclear at this time who took the dog from the facility on Monday. Security cameras have not revealed usable footage to help investigators.
On Tuesday a different crime occurred just after an officer had picked up a pitbull that was running loose just south of Hypoluxo in Boynton Beach. Sauve says a person pulled their car in front of the officer's vehicle as he was driving near Hypoluxo and Broadway in Lantana.
"The person in this car jumped out of the car and started ripping open doors on our Animal Care Control truck," she said.
The officer got out of the vehicle and tried to stop the man from tearing open locks and taking the dog.
"He went to put his hand up on the cage door and the man grabbed his arm, spun him around and threw him to the ground," she said.
A Lantana Police spokesman says if the man responsible is caught, he could face battery charges. Police are looking for an African American man, six feet tall with dreadlocks to his shoulders. He is believed to be driving a faded tan Toyota.
"I am absolutely furious about this. I want to see this person caught. I want to see this person spend some time in jail. And then I'd like to see this person cleaning cages and officers' control trucks for the next year or so, doing some community service, and learning what a hard job it is," Sauve said.
Anybody with information that could help to solve either crime is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.