(CBS) — The people who operate the animal rescue Wags to Wishes in the Joliet say they started getting threats after taking in a litter of puppies, reports WBBM’S Bob Roberts.

Breeder John Bass and supporters say police and rescue worker Terry Crotty of the shelter Wags to Wishes conspired to use an obscure law to steal his bulldog puppies.

Crotty says she took in the puppies at an inconvenient time because someone had to. Bass says the puppies should still be with their mother and Crotty agrees.

“The big problem here that keeps not being mentioned is there were puppies already sold and away from the mother,” she said.

Crotty says threats became so pronounced that her rescue efforts have halted. She has returned the puppies to Waukegan. She and another operator tell WBBM that it is causing Waukegan Animal Control problems as well.