Multiple dog disappearances worry owners

Kasie Giannone, standing, and Racy Way discuss dog disappearances Monday evening. Both women have lost dogs in the last few months.

Residents living along a short highway here told KRCG 13 Monday a large number of purebred dogs have disappeared from their road in a short period of time.

Kasie Giannone and Racy Way, who both live along Highway AA just north of Clarksburg, said people living along their roughly five mile long road have lost a total of nine dogs in fewer than six months. They said the number and proximity of the disappearances, coupled with the fact that all of the dogs were purebreds, led them to believe someone may be stealing them and reselling them for profit, a process called pet flipping.

"As time goes on and all these dogs keep showing up missing, all on the same road, you can't tell me something isn't happening," Giannone said.

Giannone's English bulldog, Ava, vanished on Sept. 11. Around the same time, her landlord, who lives nearby, lost two border collies. Nine days later, a pair of Shih-Tzu disappeared from a house just half a mile from where she lives. Another English bulldog and a Boston terrier living across the street from each other went missing this fall as well. Most recently, on Dec. 8, Way's Great pyrennes, Kilo, and German shepherd, Lexi, were lost.

Way said dogs like Kilo and Lexi are worth a lot of money and would represent a tidy profit if someone quickly sold them without spending anything on them. In a similar vein, Giannone noted she had three mutts who have not been touched. She and Way said this leads them to believe someone may have scoped out the dogs in the area in the months before the first disappearance.

Colin LaVaute, the Central Missouri Humane Society's shelter relations coordinator, said owners should know where their pets are at all times and suggested owners have microchips implanted in them. This way, any time a veterinarian scans the animal, its owner's information comes up. LaVaute said people looking for a pet should stick with licensed breeders or animal shelters because they will have all the necessary paperwork, including health records on the animal. A lack of such paperwork is a good sign something is amiss.

Way and Giannone said anyone with information about their dogs or any other dogs that disappeared from Highway AA should call the Cooper County Sheriff at 660-882-2771.