Stolen pit bulls returned to Arab’s animal shelter, situation takes an unexpected turn

Northeast Alabama
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ARAB, Ala. -- Two pit bulls stolen from Arab's animal shelter are back and Arab Police say the incident went from alarming to something much different.

Tuesday the Arab Police Department was working to find out who took two pit bulls from its animal shelter. Video footage shows the  dogs were loaded into a truck, and that caused the officers to be alarmed. "Our first concern was two pit bulls, we were afraid that they were going to be used in some type of animal fighting or something of that nature," Assistant Chief Shane Washburn says.

It turns out, there were four teens involved, and the situation took an unexpected turn. "We talked to them and they had gone there that afternoon to adopt a pet, and the animal shelter was closed," Washburn explained.

Washburn says the teens were afraid the dogs they wanted would be put down, not knowing the shelter typically does that in emergency situations only.

So police say the teens broke into the outside pens and took the dogs. "They were actually going to take them home legitimately and use them as pets," Washburn said. The teens had even bought supplies for the dogs.

There is a $25 fee to adopt dogs from Arab's animal shelter, and that helps run the entity.

The teens will have an opportunity to do community service for the shelter. "We want them to learn from this experience," Washburn says.

Washburn says they're glad to know the teens were trying to do a good deed by adopting -- "But unfortunately they went about it the wrong way."

The shelter will allow the teens to adopt the dogs if they want to.

The Marshall County Sheriff's Office and Guntersville Police helped identify the teens.

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