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Resident reunited with stolen pet dog

 

JENNA-LEY HARRISON

Staff Writer

 

A Lincoln County man was reunited with his dog this month after he said someone stole her from his property in April.

For the last two months, Brian McClure has posted fliers and talked to various area residents after neighbors told him they witnessed a couple in a red truck pull up to his house and take his two dogs on April 3.

Both his Retriever, Annie, and yellow Labrador, Lily, were stolen, he said.

McClure noted the dog eventually roamed from the suspect’s western Lincoln County home to a residence a few houses down the street, where the owner recognized Annie from area fliers.

The woman immediately contacted McClure about finding his pet.

Luckily, Annie had not been mistreated but she was loaded with ticks, he said.

While McClure offered the woman a monetary reward for her kindness, she refused to take it.

While he still hasn’t found Lily, he said one of the individuals who allegedly took his dogs called him out of the blue one day.

“She sounded nervous and wasn’t sure if she should be talking to me,” McClure said, “but she wouldn’t tell me what she did with the lab.”

Deputies said they arrested the woman, Shari J. Knowles, of 315 Laurel Ridge Drive in Lincolnton on June 6 and charged her with stealing a dog, a felony in North Carolina.

McClure’s dog isn’t the only one that has gone missing in recent months.

According to Ryan Heavner, assistant chief of Lincolnton Fire Department, he and his wife’s red Labrador went missing earlier this month.

While he can’t prove it, Heavner said he has suspicions someone took Copper.

In the days after his dog went missing, area residents told him they spotted Copper near the Lincoln Country Club, on Lithia Inn Road in Lincolnton, and Lincolnton Middle School, on Startown Road.

After eight days of little sleep and searching endlessly for the couple’s furry friend, Heavner, along with help from a Colonial Village resident, who told him she thought she had seen his dog roaming in the community, located the red Lab around 6 p.m. Thursday on North Generals Boulevard.

“It was a blessing,” Heavner said.

While he claimed there are numerous area dogs that have gone missing in recent months, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Tim Johnson, head of Criminal Investigations, shot down the notion that a large number of county dogs are being stolen.

“We have not had an increase in dog thefts at all,” he said. “We have very few dogs reported stolen, period.”

Johnson noted that more often than not, dogs wander from homes rather than thieves targeting them.

For area owners who have lost a dog or other pet, several websites and Facebook pages offer them opportunities to post about their missing animals. People may also assist owners who have lost their pets by posting information about an animal that has been found.

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