Vandals steal shelter’s pit bull puppies

Colt, one of two pit bull puppies stolen from the Rifle Animal Shelter. He has since been located.

Beretta, one of two pit bull puppies stolen from the Rifle Animal Shelter.

Rifle Animal Shelter workers are worried about the fate of two pit bull puppies stolen from the facility Friday night.

Shelter manager Heather Mullen said vandals broke a window to get to the puppies.

“They definitely knew what they were coming for, I feel. They came for those puppies, that’s what they wanted, and then they left,” she said.

The shelter also was vandalized with spray paint, said Garfield County sheriff’s spokeswoman Tanny McGinnis, and inside “there was stuff everywhere,” Mullen said.

The stolen puppies, named Colt and Beretta, were 10 to 12 weeks old, male, blue-nosed pit bulls, Mullen said.

She said they had been surrendered to the shelter by someone who had taken good care of them, and both had been adopted out but were awaiting neutering.

Mullen believes the thieves saw the pit bulls on-line or while driving by.

She said they may have wanted the animals for breeding, fighting or to sell.

“With this breed of dog we don’t know what their intention is and what could be happening to (the pit bulls) right now,” Mullen said.

The shelter also is worried about the security of its other dogs. Mullen said it never has had a similar incident in the facility’s history, which goes back more than 30 years.

The case is under investigation, and the shelter is offering a $500 reward for information. The pit bulls are light brindle and white. Both were wearing NASCAR collars; Colt has a white head and blue eyes and Beretta has a brindle and white head and green eyes.

Anyone with information may contact the shelter at 970-625-8808 or emergency dispatchers at 970-625-8095.


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