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Burglary and tragedy at Puppy Love

Puppy Love is the Fremont pet store that protestors have said gets its puppies from breeding mills.

According to police a burglar made off with lots of dogs last night. Then, this morning, as a store co-owner was showing police where on the roof the burglar entered the store, he fell through a skylight and landing about 15-feet below. He’s in critical condition.

Police don’t think the burglary is related to the protests. Here’s the story:

Pet shop co-owner hurt while reporting puppy thefts

By Ben Aguirre Jr.
The Argus

FREMONT — A man was in critical condition late Thursday after falling through the skylight of a pet shop from which burglars earlier had stolen 17 purebred puppies worth at least $11,000, police said.

The man, believed to be the 28-year-old co-owner of Puppy Love Boutique on Mowry Avenue, suffered head and chest injuries in the Thursday morning fall, police said. He had been showing investigators the spot from which he thought the burglars had entered during the previous night, Fremont police Detective Bill Veteran said.

The man fell about 15 feet through the skylight, the opening of which leads to the outside of the building. During the fall, the man may have hit an outside wall of the building before landing on the walkway in front of the business, Fremont Fire Acting Battalion Chief Ron Chaney said.

The man was taken by ambulance to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where he remained Thursday night.

The fall occurred about 10:30 a.m., some 90 minutes after police began investigating what is believed to be the city’s first major puppy heist, Veteran said.

Burglars broke into the building, apparently through the skylight, and stole the dogs and their paperwork, Veteran said.

The dogs “ranged between 9 and 13 weeks (old) and sold for $650 to $1,100 each,” said Veteran, a spokesman for the police department.

“It is obvious to police that whoever did this knew what they were doing,” the detective

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said.

Breeds stolen included poodles, Shih Tzus, St. Bernards, corgis and Dalmatians.

Police said they were following “strong leads,” but would not discuss specifics.

Although the theft happened at the same pet shop that recently had been the site of a protest for suspected links to puppy mills, police said there was no indication that the theft was related to the protest.

“It does not appear to be,” Veteran said.

A store employee reached by telephone confirmed Thursday afternoon that the fall victim was a co-owner, but refused to comment further.

According to Veteran, who has been with the Fremont Police Department for more than two decades, this is the first major puppy heist in the city’s history.

However, it is the second dog theft in the city within the last 18 months.

In June 2007, a 4-month-old English bulldog named Ava was stolen from the American Animal Care Center, where it was being boarded.

A man walked into the business three days before the dog was supposed to be picked up, asked for the dog by name, and it was released to his custody.

Authorities said they have made no arrests in that incident.

Matt Artz

  • harry

    I find it ODD that the burglar knew where the paperwork was! People who steal puppies from Pet Stores have no interest in paperwork. Sounds like an inside job for insurance.

  • http://hollywoodjinky.com Carole Raphaelle Davis

    This is very sad. I hope the man will recover quickly and that the dogs are found very soon because very young dogs like that need special care and feeding every two hours.

    I hope that the detectives will investigate thouroughly to find out who did this and that whoever would do such a thing is punished.

  • Jason

    It may be sad for the man, but my sympathy goes to the dogs on this one. The situation does seem suspicious, but despite that, the puppies have had a rough enough life as it is. Carole mentions that they need special care, which brings up why a business should be selling puppies in the first place. Does anyone think that there are people in the store taking care of these puppies, feed, playing, socializing, training, them like they should be? I think it is highly unlikely. Now it is anybodies guess as to how the puppies are going to be treated now. Very sad!

  • Darlena King

    I have learned today of the unfortunate event that happened at Puppy Love Boutique. I am writing on behalf of the rally protesters and myself when I say we are deeply saddened and concerned about the health of the store’s co-owner. We have been there to inform the public about puppy mills and that adoption is the better choice…the last thing we would have wanted was for anyone to be injured for any reason.

    We are also concerned about the welfare of the puppies that were taken and would like to offer our assistance to re-locate the puppies again.

    In respect for the store owners and their families, we will not be at this store this weekend!!!