LARGO — Investigators are seeking the public's help in identifying a man and woman who took a dog from an after-hours dropoff cage at Pinellas County Animal Services last week.
The two were caught on surveillance video twice at the facility at 12450 Ulmerton Road in Largo on June 2, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
In the first instance, around 10:30 p.m., the man and woman are seen arriving in a late 1990s to 2002 model white Ford Taurus station wagon. The woman is described as white, with brown, shoulder-length hair. She was wearing a dark-colored dress.
The man is described as white, with a stocky build. He was wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts. The two remained at the animal shelter for a while, then returned to the car and left.
Just after 11 p.m., the same vehicle returned. A man got out of the car and is then seen on video leaving the shelter with the dog. He is wearing a black T-shirt that is different from the shirt seen on the earlier video.
"It could be the same person. It's not clear," said sheriff's spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda. "Detectives are saying it's definitely the same vehicle."
According to detectives, the dog — a 10-month-old brindled pit bull mix named Danger — was dropped off by the owner's landlord around 10:10 p.m.
The landlord apparently believed the dog had been abandoned in a back yard by the owner, 30-year-old Angelique M. Allaire.
Allaire, of St. Petersburg, discovered her dog was missing when she got home, the Sheriff's Office said. Her landlord told her he had taken the dog to the Animal Services dropoff site and she went there the next morning, June 3, to try to retrieve the dog.
In the interim, officials at the shelter had reported the theft a few hours before Allaire arrived, after discovering the door of the cage had been bent and the locking device had been broken.
This is the second time a dog has been taken from the after-hours cage in three months. In March, a white bichon frise named Miki was taken by a man after a good Samaritan left the dog in a cage but did not lock the gate.
Anyone with information about the case should call Detective Ward Snyder at (727) 582-6200. Or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers of Pinellas County toll-free at 1-800-873-8477.