Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thief walks off with deaf puppy from Humane Society kennel

Thief walks off with deaf puppy from Humane Society kennel

A puppy stolen Friday afternoon from the Humane Society of Huron Valley is seen as particularly vulnerable because she was born deaf.

Chilly, an 8-week-old American bulldog, disappeared from her kennel between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Humane Society’s headquarters in Superior Township.

“It’s feasible to think of somebody shoving her up inside their coat and walking out the front door,” said Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV executive director.

Chilly was being treated for an infection and was not yet ready for adoption.

“She’s a beautiful little girl,” Hilgendorf said. “Somebody might be trying to make some money off her.”

Typical reasons a dog might be stolen are the desire to save money on adoption costs or to be sold to another party. Some are also sold for research purposes.

The shelter was experiencing a busy afternoon, with many animals going out for adoption, and the staff was preoccupied when the incident occurred. The fact that Chilly is “a calm and quiet” pup abetted the abductor in making a getaway.

Hilgendorf said dogs with all-white coloring have an inordinate genetic tendency to be deaf.

The shelter staff is hoping that Chilly’s whereabouts will be revealed after word of the incident spreads.

The combination of her deafness, illness and youth make her particularly vulnerable, according to Hilgendorf. Compounding the worry is the fact that Chilly has very little fur and is possibly being kept outside.

“We just want to know that she’s safe,” Hilgendorf said.

A $500 reward is offered for Chilly’s safe return.