Shelter Boosts Security After Puppy Thefts

2 Puppies Stolen Saturday

The Humane Society of Indianapolis is boosting security after two puppies were stolen from the shelter over the weekend.

Two German shepherd-mix puppies were taken in separate incidents Saturday. Nine-week-old Trina was turned in to police hours later, but Token was still missing Monday, 6News' Myrt Price reported.

"It's beyond our comprehension," said shelter CEO John Aleshire. "This is immoral. This is theft. This is putting the life of a cute puppy or an animal in jeopardy."

Both incidents were caught on surveillance video.

In the first theft, a woman was seen walking out of a side door with a puppy tucked under her arm. In the second incident, a woman and a man came into the shelter and left with a puppy hidden in the woman's sweatshirt.

Aleshire said he plans to install eight to 10 additional cameras at the shelter. More volunteers will also be brought in to keep a closer eye on people coming and going from the shelter.

"This does cause us to defer some dollars that could have been spent on animal care and getting more animals to make sure our animals are safe from people who want to walk in here and steal them," Aleshire said.

Some volunteers are worried tighter restrictions will make the shelter less accessible.

"This is a wonderful place where children can come and have an opportunity to interact with the animals and actually volunteer," said Melissa Zajac, who brings her son to the shelter. "I'm worried that's something we might not be able to do anymore."

The Humane Society is a no-kill shelter that relies entirely on donations. When an animal is stolen, it costs the Humane Society the $195 adoption fee and all the medical costs already spent on veterinarian checks, shots and spay or neutering services, Aleshire said.

Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.