Couple sought in dognapping

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Larry Rogers of the Clovis Animal Shelter replaces a sign Wednesday to the gate that got ran into by a car after a person took their dogs from the shelter and attempted to leave in their car.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

A Clovis couple is facing charges for breaking their dogs out of the city pound.

Clovis Police Chief Steve Sanders said the pair rammed a gate at the animal shelter, then sped away with the dogs in their truck.

Sanders said police were called to the shelter around 1 p.m. Tuesday when a man and woman confronted an officer in the kennel area.

The suspects accused the officer of illegally seizing their dogs, Sanders said.

Sanders said when the officer walked away to handle other responsibilities, the couple freed their dogs from kennel and walked them out the front door.

Animal control officers closed the parking lot gate to try to detain the suspects from leaving until police arrived.

But Sanders said, “They chose not to wait for us, so they rammed the gate broke the lock and took off.”

Police have been unable to locate the couple since.

Sanders said police are in the process of obtaining warrants for their arrest.

Police did not identify the couple because they have not been charged.

Sanders said earlier in the day animal control officers left a note on the couple’s door in the 2000 block of Duckworth Avenue, telling them their dogs had been seized for running loose.

Animal control officers had planned to petition a judge to keep the dogs because the problem was ongoing.

“What our concern is, is the welfare of the dogs and controlling the anger behavior of the folks involved,” Sanders said.

“We want the dogs to be cared for. If they’re being cared for there, that’s great. Whether we’ve got them or they’ve got them, (as long as they’re OK), we’re OK with that, or at least I am anyway.”