Shelter receives help as 2 dogs located

Two dogs that disappeared during a break-in at the Josephine County Animal Shelter have returned safely.

An older female dachshund and a female chocolate Lab were found Tuesday. Officials said tips for investigators and help from the community are pouring in, too.

"People have stepped forward," Josephine County Animal Control Supervisor Brad Tally said.

Shelter workers were especially happy to have the two dogs, both initially picked up as strays, back at the shelter unharmed.

After the shelter closed Friday, someone slipped in the back and cut holes in the kennels. Eleven of the 15 dogs at the shelter that night were taken. Four pups, all younger than 6 months old, were found dead along Pleasant Valley Road, apparently killed by blows to the head. Three others were found loose close to the shelter at 1420 Brookside Blvd., near the Grants Pass Airport.

Four — including the chocolate Lab, the dachshund and two spotted blue heeler pups — were missing. The heeler pups haven't been found.

A woman reported seeing the dachshund running loose in her neighborhood Tuesday and the dog was caught.

Josephine County sheriff's deputies found the Labrador as they investigated. Officials didn't disclose details on where the dogs were found, citing the importance of protecting the investigation.

Sheriff Gil Gilbertson said tips are pouring in and investigators are pursuing several promising leads.

A reward fund at Umpqua Bank, 100 N.E. Midland Ave., Grants Pass, has grown to at least $1,500 and is still garnering donations, Tally said. A reward will be given to people who provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.

Tally said donations have rolled in at the shelter, too. Local security companies plan to develop and donate a surveillance and motion detector system for the shelter. People have dropped off money to help and have even volunteered to spend nights at the shelter to protect the animals, Tally said.

An outpouring of e-mail has come from animal lovers up and down the West Coast, he said.

"I've gotten e-mail from Canada to San Diego," Tally said, adding that he was up until midnight Monday answering them all.

Donations to the shelter can be made to Josephine County Public Health and mailed to the public health office at 715 N.W. Dimmick St., Grants Pass, or dropped off at the shelter.

Investigators ask anyone with information about this case to call the sheriff's office at 474-5123.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail

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