Call it coincidence or a disturbing trend, but several Boston Terriers have gone missing in and around Menifee the last several days and dog owners say it looks suspicious.
Since last Wednesday, Nov. 20, six Boston Terriers have disappeared in the area from four different residences. Two have since been found. One was discovered by animal control officers running loose and the other was turned in anonymously to Animal Friends of the Valleys in Wildomar through a night drop-off door.
Lost dogs in Menifee is a common occurrence, but to have six of the same breed go missing from the same general area in a one-week period has some residents wondering whether the dogs are being stolen. Two of the owners saw no evidence of an open gate or any way their dog could've disappeared without being taken.
"It's obvious to me there's a theft ring going on," said Nina Medina, president the Menifee Valley Humane Society. "Everyone needs to be aware of what's going on and keep an eye on your dogs. We're a small community and this is the last thing you would expect to happen."
There is no proof that any of the dogs were taken from their yards, but some have their suspicions. Greg Ogle discovered his three Boston Terriers missing from the back yard of his home on Scott Road near Leon Road last Friday, Nov. 22.
"I walked around the yard and there were no holes in the fence or any way I see they could get out," Ogle said. "I posted this on Facebook and found out other Boston Terriers were missing. I thought it was strange that all of the same breed went missing at the same time."
Two days after his three dogs went missing, one of Ogle's Boston Terriers showed up at Animal Friends of the Valley when workers checked the night drop-off area the next morning. The dog was identified as Ogle's and he picked up the dog, a male. Another male -- a 4-month-old puppy named Boss, above -- and a female named Daisy (below right) are still missing.
This time when Jaks called Athena home, there was no response. She has been missing ever since.
"Athena is a creature of habit," Jaks said. "She always makes a left turn and heads straight for the field. She has never gone anywhere else and she always comes when called. She doesn't take well to strangers, so I don't think she would run up to anyone."
Jaks said Athena (below) is a smaller breed of Boston Terrier -- one that might be easy to grab. He too finds it suspicious that many Boston Terriers disappeared at the same time.
Robin Taylor agrees that Boston Terriers are valuable dogs that could be sold for a big profit. Her Boston Terrier, named Bird (below right), went missing from the back yard of her sister's home near Menifee Road and Mapleton Road about 8 p.m. on Nov. 20. Although there is a crack in the fence where the small 4-year-old might have escaped, Taylor admits being suspicious about dog theft.
"Bostons are rare breeds. For that many to go missing is very strange," she said. "They're an expensive dog. Anyone wanting to breed dogs might know that if they're looking to grab one. It's a mystery."
A fourth dog owner, Andrea Welding, discovered her Boston Terrier Deuce was missing on Tuesday in a neighborhood near Menifee and Holland Roads. Fortunately, her dog was picked up running loose on the streets and was taken to the Animal Friends of the Valley shelter, where Welding picked him up.
Kathy McIntyre, spokesperson for Animal Friends of the Valleys, urges dog owners to have their pet microchipped for easier retrieval.