Not without my dogger

Dateline: Thu 26 Jul 2007

The dog ran off, or more likely was abducted, this weekend; there's a story in this, because for some time now a dog ring is supposedly being run out of the neighboring village of Cunot, the armpit of Indiana. I heard about it as I made the rounds today, checking for a yellow mutt with a sweet face and black-eyeliner eyes at the Putnam County Humane Society.

This dog has all the right stuff: collar with ID, including a home phone number. She's spayed, so sex is not the issue. And she was on the porch Saturday afternoon, lounging in the sunshine, then dog-gone 45 minutes later. Did she wander down to the bridge and encounter what she thought were friendly fishermen? Did she get into the pickup that was parked there? I don't know, but I know losing a dog and not having a body is a real strain.

The nice people at the shelter explained the operation: country druggies will steal dogs, then sell them to some creeps in poverty-stricken Cunot, $25 a dog. The animals are then brokered, no doubt for quite a bit more money, to labs for experiments. The very thought is stomach-churning and anger-provoking on so many levels. The thin veneer of rural life; the cruelty to trusting animals; the disregard for the family who has lost their companion. Is this a serious problem? Based on the number of lost-dog ads in the local Banner-Graphic newspaper, yes, it is. Is it real? I'm told there's been an ongoing investigation by the sheriff's department, but with no results.

I'm on the case.

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