Police in Castlegar say there are no indications there are dog-nappers working in the West Kootenays.
Despite dozens of “sightings” of two women (and possibly an Asian male accomplice) casing the area, and numerous Facebook posts on the subject, police say there are no indications anyone is looking to steal your dog and use it for nefarious ends.
“Nelson’s got calls, Castlegar’s got calls, Trail’s got calls. But there’s been no offence committed, nothing’s happened, no dog has been taken,” says a mystified Sgt. Darren Oelke. “It sounds like it took off on Facebook. We have no reports of any dogs missing.”
Local Facebook pages have been peppered with reports of “the disgusting Adams duo” wandering through the area, casing homes looking for animals to steal.
In the space of a few hours they were reported in Slocan Park and Montrose.
“They were also spotted in Cranbrook, Fernie, and Yahk recently, so coming to our community is not a stretch,” said one post from a Castlegar page.
They’ve also supposedly been spotted in Kelowna, and panhandling with a dog in Vernon.
A post Monday from the Krestova area warned the duo were “[placing] flagging tape or cloth to mark a house and then come back later. If anyone notices new flagging tape or anything weird on their fence or a tree across the street, keep an extra tight eye.”
Police are shaking their heads.
“You hear ‘kids shouldn’t take the dogs out to walk anymore, people are out stealing dogs’,” he says. “It sounds like there’s a different guy in Trail, a guy looking at dogs in the park there. It’s just bizarre.”
“As far as we’re concerned here, there’s nothing. There’s more concern about somebody maybe looking suspicious looking at a dog and maybe stealing a dog … you know, we wouldn’t get this kind of attention for an Amber Alert.”
The women, the posts say, are dog thieves, and have a 20-year-ban from owning dogs. The posts say the women are stealing the animals to use them “in dog fighting rings to be tortured and killed.”
The resourceful women allegedly have drugs they use to tranquilize guard dogs, and will steal any off-leash dogs they can get their hands on.
The posters also helpfully show a licence plate belonging to the alleged dog nappers. Unhelpfully, the posts misidentify the truck owner.
Sgt. Oelke looked up the plate on police systems, and found it belongs to a person from northern BC with no significant criminal charges on his record.
Like all urban legends, the post seems to have a kernel of truth at the start of them. In November, 46-year-old Karin Adams was sentenced to 90 days in jail for impersonating an animal control officer and breach of probation. She’s been banned from owning animals for three years.
Earlier in the year her daughter was found guilty of animal abuse from an incident in Hanna, Alberta. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail and two year’s probation.
Both the mother and daughter had been banned from owning animals for 20 years as a result of an earlier conviction for animal abuse in Houston, B.C.
However, there’s no indication the women are now in the Southern Interior of B.C. It’s likely a frenzy caused by social media.
“We had a call in Nelson about a big guy with a chihuahua,” says Oelke. “Like, they shouldn’t have one?
“It’s bizarre, bizarre.”