KIPU — Six dogs were stolen from the Kauai Humane Society over the weekend.
Someone cut the lock off a side gate and climbed through a window to access the area where the dogs were kept.
The stolen dogs include three female pit bull mixes, ranging from two to seven years old, and two female Airdales, ages two and five. A female Lab mix puppy named Arianna, which was microchipped, was also taken.
“We were shocked,” said Penny Cistaro, KHS executive director.
The Kauai Police Department has opened a burglary investigation. According to police, the theft occurred sometime late Saturday and before 5:30 a.m. Sunday.
Four of the stolen dogs were picked up near Kalaheo about a week ago. They were not chipped and did not have tags or licenses.
“We believe the four were the targeted dogs,” Cistaro said.
One of the pit bulls taken was a stray that recently came in.
The puppy was scheduled to be transferred to a shelter on the Mainland, where it was likely to find a home.
“We’re very upset about the puppy,” Cistaro said.
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the burglary.
In her 42 years of working with animal shelters, Cistaro said she has had people break in to steal pets back, sometimes because they didn’t want to pay impound fees. She’s had people try to hide puppies or kittens in pockets and leave without paying. Someone once stole a dog at KHS when it was open.
“People do all kinds of things,” she said.
KHS has a security system, but following the theft, it is going to look at increasing protective measures to keep its dogs and cats safe.
The theft comes just before this Saturday’s annual KHS gala, “Paws for Celebration,” at the Kauai Sheraton Resort in Poipu on Saturday. About 300 are expected for an elegant affair that features dinner, music and auctions, all to benefit KHS operations.
Cistaro said the theft won’t detract from the fundraiser, which brought in about $80,000 last year.
A few tickets, $95, remain.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Police Dispatch at 241-1711. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call CrimeStoppers at 246-8300.