CHICAGO (CBS) — A young dog stolen from a Chicago Heights animal shelter earlier this week has been recovered, safe and sound.
On Wednesday, three thieves went to the South Suburban Humane Society and walked away with a young dog named Cheeser.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports things were busy in the lobby, so no one noticed the young woman and two men who casually walked into the kennel.
CEO Emily Klehm said the trio asked a volunteer to show them a 10-month-old pitt bull mix named Cheeser.
“She got him out of the cage for them to see him, and they ended up walking him out through a side door,” Klehm said.
Shelter volunteer Tony Konidaris tried to chase the suspects.
“They must have had a car waiting or something, got in, so it was like a split second thing,” he tells CBS 2’s Mike Parker. “Trust me, it’s probably better that I didn’t catch them.”
On Thursday afternoon, the Humane Society reported on its Facebook page that Cheeser had been recovered.
“After tirelessly focusing all of our energy, with the miraculous power of social media, and the efforts of multiple police departments, Cheeser is safely back in the arms and care of SSHS,” the posting said.
Klehm says a family member of one of the suspects contacted Chicago Heights police. She says she intends to press charges.
The three suspects, believed to be about 18-to-20 years old, were seen driving away in a black late-model Monte Carlo.
Klehm expressed concern the dog-nappers may have wanted Cheeser for something sinister, like dog-fighting.
“Of course, that’s always a possibility. It’s one that we don’t want to consider. My best hope is that because of their age and all of that, that they wanted a dog and didn’t want to pay the adoption fee,” she said.
Cheeser had been micro-chipped.