The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is seeking the help of the public after a Shiba Inu puppy was stolen from the organization’s Erie Avenue headquarters in Philly Friday.
The dog, a male puppy believed to be between two and three months old, is a stray that had just arrived at the shelter earlier that day. The dog was not available for adoption, according to PSPCA spokesperson Gillian Kocher.
“This individual came in to the shelter and went straight to the location where the puppy was housed, placing it inside a backpack,” Kocher told Metro in an email.
Due to the laws, the PSPCA was required to keep the pup in a public space because strays must be available for the public to see.
“While we have received feedback asking why the kennels were not locked, we cannot lock the kennels due to issues with safety if there was a need to evacuate in an emergency,” Kocher said, adding that the organization wants to make sure the missing puppy is safe.
The dog was microchipped, so if it is found the PSPCA can confirm his identity.
Surveillance images released to the public show the person of interest walking through the shelter’s office area and also kneeling by the dog enclosures. He wore a black Nike hoodie and a black hat at the time of the theft, which happened around 5 p.m at the headquarters, located at 350 E. Erie Ave.
As of Monday, a reward was being offered.
“Thanks to the support of an anonymous donor, a $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the individual in question and the safe return of the dog,” Kocher said.
Anonymous tips can be sent to the Pennsylvania SPCA’s cruelty hotline, 866-601-7722 or email@example.com, but the organization asked that anyone who recognizes the person of interest or spots him with the dog call 911.
“Any help is greatly appreciated as we want to spread the word far and wide,” Kocher said.