Dogs Disappearing from County in Iowa

At least eight Labrador Retrievers have gone missing in recent weeks within an 11-mile radius.

Clinton County, Iowa, residents are being warned not to leave their dogs outside unattended due to a rash of thefts of Labrador Retrievers in the rural town of Elvira.

This is the second recent warning about leaving dogs unattended. The first came over a week ago from county law enforcement officials. The second warning came April 24 from a victim.

Elvira resident Ted White says his two Labrador Retrievers, Macy and Molly, were taken from his yard in rural Elvira on the morning of April 21. Whites dogs were among eight Labs that have disappeared within a 1.5-mile area surrounding Elvira.

According to White, the dogs were in his yard Friday morning, when they just vanished. White says that when a deputy sheriff came out to investigate, he told White the thefts were probably related to dog fighting in the Quad-Cities area.

After his dogs were stolen, White started talking to neighbors and found several whose Labs had also been stolen. One neighbor had three dogs, but only the Lab was taken, White says.

On April 10, Clinton County law enforcement officials met to discuss a cooperative effort to eliminate pit-bull fighting in Clinton County, and Clinton Humane Society Director Jean Regenwether told the group that pit-bull fighting was taking place in the county and that dogs and cats were being stolen from yards and used as bait for the fighting dogs.

Regenwether acknowledged the rash of animal thefts likely means something is going on, either dog fighting or something else unlawful.

Posted: April 28, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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