A nine-month old husky remains in protective custody after a woman, who allegedly stole the dog last week from a Saanich home, returned to the scene of the crime on Thursday.
Saanich police arrested a 30-year-old Squamish woman yesterday after she came to the home in the 700 block of Haliburton Road, in breach of a court order.
Police allege the same woman stole Timber the dog from the Haliburton Road home and spirited him back to the Mainland on April 23. Whistler RCMP arrested her on suspicion of break and enter and theft, and she was released under conditions.
Yesterday the Saanich family, who had adopted the dog a few weeks ago, reported to police the woman had come to their house and pleaded for the return of Timber.
“The family opted not to take the dog back for this very reason,” said Saanich police Sgt. Steve Eassie. “They were concerned the previous owner would come back.”
The woman went to the Victoria SPCA shelter yesterday afternoon in an presumed attempt to locate the dog, and was arrested for breaching a court order. Eassie said the dog is in a safe place but isn’t at the SPCA shelter.
“The dog is in a safe location that won’t be disclosed. It’s not at the shelter and its not at the previous home,” he said.
Bob Busch, general manger of operations with the B.C. SPCA, said the dog was moved into an undisclosed location due to “numerous incidents” with the previous owner. The Saanich family has opted not to readopt Timber, he said.
“They’ve been through enough. I feel bad for them. They’ve been caught tin the middle,” he said.
The husky ended up in Whistler RCMP possession on April 6, and was turned over to the Whistler animal shelter, Busch said, and the owner was contacted and given three days to reclaim the animal. That didn’t happen, and the Whistler pound handed the husky to the SPCA on April 11 for re-adoption.
Busch said it’s rare for people to steal back pets.
“We’ve seen this before, but its rare for someone to be arrested twice for an incident,” he said. “It’s such an unusual case I can’t see it happening to the same degree for some time.”
The suspect was scheduled for a court appearance this morning on charges of break and enter, theft and breach of a court order.
It remains unclear how the woman tracked down the address of the Saanich family. Eassie said it’s believed the information was not leaked from the SPCA, but rather they could have been found through social media, or that the previous owner observed the Saanich family picking up the dog.
The B.C. SPCA is also conducting an internal review.