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Chicago Heights animal shelter says pit bull was stolen

Cheeser 10-month-old pit bull mix has been reported stolen from South Suburban Humane Society. | Supplied photo

Cheeser, a 10-month-old pit bull mix, has been reported stolen from the South Suburban Humane Society. | Supplied photo

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Updated: August 14, 2014 9:14PM



Officials at the Chicago Heights-based South Suburban Humane Society are searching for a dog they said was stolen Wednesday night.

Video from a surveillance camera shows two men and a woman stealing a 10-month-old pit bull mix named Cheeser about 6 p.m. and fleeing in a black Chevrolet Monte Carlo, said Sam Latham, development manager for the shelter.

The dog has tan fur with a white chest and belly, and weighs between 50 and 60 pounds, Latham said. Cheeser, who had been with the shelter since late July, earned the name because he looks like he always has a smile on his face. He’s described as a friendly and mellow animal.

Cheeser is microchipped, and a scan would show he has been reported stolen.

Latham said it’s rare for an animal to be abducted from the shelter.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time this year,” he said. “Over the last five years, it’s happened once or twice.”

Shelter officials said the theft was reported to Chicago Heights police, who could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Word of Cheeser’s theft was spread through the humane society’s Facebook page.

Visitors to the shelter are required to check in with the front desk and are allowed to walk around the shelter to check out the pets, Latham said.

The three suspects were seen walking around the shelter for about 20 minutes, looking at dogs before taking Cheeser outside the facility, Latham said. It’s not usual for prospective pet owners to walk the animals outside before considering adoption.

Shortly after Cheeser was taken outside, one of the three suspects pulled up in the Monte Carlo. The dog was loaded into the car, and all three people left in the vehicle.

Latham said the process for adopting a pet is relatively easy. Those going through the adoption process are required to be 18 years old, and must speak with a counselor and show proof that pets are allowed if they are renting an apartment. If they already have pets, they are required to have the new pet meet the other animal first, Latham said. There’s also a small fee that varies depending on the size and type of animal.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the South Suburban Humane Society at (708) 755-7387 or the Chicago Heights Police Department at (708) 756-6400.



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