Dog may have been stolen to be used as dog fighting bait
Jennifer Hyduke with the Marlboro County Humane Society says over the weekend an American bulldog named Spanky was stolen from the shelter on Wallace Road in Bennettsville.
She's afraid he's being used as a bait dog in a dogfighting operation.
Hyduke says it appears the thieves broke into the facility by climbing a fence to get inside.
President of the Marlboro County Humane Society Joshua Cohoon says it's no coincidence that Spanky turned up missing the same day as the alleged dog fight.
"It kind of hurts your feelings some to know that somebody will actually sit there and watch another dog actually attack and try to kill another dog. And they would actually have fun sitting there watching that happen," said Cohoon.
Hyduke says Spanky was rescued two weeks ago after his owner moved away and left him at the home.
He was abandoned with no food or water and hooked to a chain that weighed roughly twelve pounds.
Hyduke says Spanky was covered in fleas. In fact, there were so many of them, they had to sweep them off the floor.
She says the dog was making an amazing recovery before he was taken from the shelter.
Police say they're investigating allegations of a dogfighting operation.
In the meantime, the Marlboro County Humane Society says they're offering a $1,000 reward d for information leading to an arrest and conviction in Spankey's theft.
They say the Humane Society of the United States is offering a $5,000 reward.
In recent years, several animal shelters in the Pee Dee have been burglarized. People have stolen pit bulls from shelters in Florence and Dillon.
Cohoon says they never thought it would happen to them.
"Just amazed . I've heard of this happening multiple times and at different shelters all around and was just amazed that it happened to us. We were hoping that we wouldn't have to deal with this type of situation."
The Marlboro County Humane Society plans to install surveillance cameras to help monitor the shelter.