Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

October 13, 2013

Dogs missing in Greenup

Owners fear theft or worse

Carrie Stambaugh
The Independent

GREENUP — A recent rash of missing dogs in one Greenup County neighborhood has some pet owners wondering if someone is stealing their canines.

Anthony Dicorte and his wife, Surina, said their 8-year-old dog, Charlie, a terrier/German shepherd mix, went missing on Sept. 26. The dog never went far from their home along Rabbitery Road, where he was last seen.

 When the family began searching for him, they discovered no fewer than six other neighbors were also missing dogs. The disappearances date between mid-August and late September.

“There was a pretty boxer, he was so nice and sweet. Our neighbors had just gotten him,” Mrs. Dicorte said. “Another one of our neighbors had a full-blooded male dachshund, another family had two full-blooded Labs.”

Dicorte named four other neighbors he’d personally spoken with whose dogs have vanished from their yards in the area that stretches along Uhlen Branch, including Rabbitery Road, Wolfpen Hollow and Yates Road.  

The pain of losing the sibling 2-year-old black Labrador retrievers was still fresh for the Dicorte neighbor. He declined to be named, but said the dogs are not the first pets that have gone missing from his Yates Road property. He thinks someone is stealing them or worse.

The Dicortes suspect the same thing.

“It is terrible, it is just horrible,” Mrs. Dicorte said. “I cried my heart out and my kids are totally tore up about it. There is just nothing you can do.”

Her family and neighbors have contacted local shelters, posted fliers and canvassed the area for a sign of their beloved pets, with no luck.

“It seems like it is getting to be a really bad problem,” Mrs. Dicorte said. “I never thought it could happen here.”

Greenup County Sheriff Keith Cooper said last week his office was unaware the rash of missing pets, but would look into it. “It’s hard for us to help if people don’t make reports,” he said.

He said the county has faced the issue in the past, but not for several years.

Two years ago in Boyd County, dozens of animals were reported missing during a stretch of several weeks. At that time, Boyd County Animal Shelter director Paul Helton said his office received more than 30 calls about missing pets. Some owners reported a woman representing herself as an animal-control officer intimidated owners into turning over their pets.