April 16, 2024

Bowlingual Dog

Animal Planet Directory

Man arrested for Leitchfield Animal Shelter break-in

The Leitchfield Police Department said several dogs fought after being released and one dog was killed in the incident.

LEITCHFIELD, Ky. — A Grayson County man accused of breaking into an animal shelter, releasing 16 dogs and taking one with him could face prison time after police said one of the dogs died in the incident.

The Leitchfield Animal Shelter has several forms of security — from locked gates to security cameras — and the shelter’s hidden amongst the trees. But authorities said that didn’t stop 43-year-old Michael Baker from trespassing while the shelter was closed and wreaking havoc in the shelter early Tuesday morning. 

Leitchfield Police Detective Sergeant Ian Renfrow, spokesperson for LPD and LAS, said volunteers at the shelter have noticed how timid the dogs are after the break-in. 

“These animals are defenseless,” Renfrow said. “They have no idea what’s coming in and out. They trust that someone walking in there is probably going to be feeding them or cleaning their home.”

LPD released photos of what appears to be Baker entering and leaving the facility on Tuesday. Renfrow said they’ve decided to withhold the security footage they’ve obtained because of its graphic nature. 

“The video surveillance shows multiple dogs involved in a fight behind the building after they were released,” Renfrow said. “There was just one dog at the middle of it all that ended up being the one that was deceased.”

Officials said Baker ended up taking the white dog in the picture, named Bug, who ended up being the last dog returned to the shelter after being found by police on Wednesday. 

Police said Baker has no connections to the animal, and he now faces seven criminal charges, including burglary, criminal trespassing, cruelty to animals, acquiring control over an animal, acquiring control over an animal facility, and damage to animal in an animal facility. 

Renfrow said police will now be considering stepping up security at the shelter. 

“We are discussing additional cameras, but these cameras are great in this situation they showed us exactly what we needed to show this crime to get a warrant out immediately,” Renfrow said. “We had something out within a couple of hours.”

Volunteers at the shelter said they are shaken by the death of a dog, and they continue to fix up the dogs that were injured. 

“These dogs, that’s what they work with every day,” Renfrow said. “It would be like if you had a patient at the hospital and you were a nurse, or working at a nursing home and they passed away. They did take that pretty hard.”

Renfrow called this case “unusual” and said the department hopes to find a motive as they continue to investigate. He said he’s proud of how quickly they were able make the arrest and safely return the dogs. 

Baker was arraigned Wednesday and given a $1,500 bond. Baker could face prison time for the death of the dog. A preliminary hearing is set for March 6 in Grayson District Court.

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