Philadelphia animal welfare authorities are trying to sniff out the whereabouts of a person who they believe walked into their shelter and snatched a puppy.
The heist happened shortly after 5 p.m. Friday at the Pennsylvania SPCA's Erie Avenue headquarters in Philadelphia, PSCPA Director of Public Relations Gillian Kocher said.
A man who walked in wearing a black Nike hoodie is wanted for questioning in the theft of Kennich, a 3-month-old Shiba Inu puppy, officials said.
Surveillance video captured him in the shelter's kennel area looking at dogs. Investigators said he walked into the building around feeding time, went directly to the puppy's cage, opened it, stuffed the dog into a backpack and then walked out.
"He probably targeted this specific puppy because it was a valuable puppy," Nicole Wilson of the PSPCA said.
Wilson told NBC10 the PSCPA has sign-in sheets and surveillance cameras but no locks on the cages.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
“We can’t put individual locks because at any given time we could have more than 100 dogs and to go through each cage and unlock it during an emergency, it’s not something we can do,” Wilson said.
The Shiba Inu breed is especially valuable, with some puppies costing up to $1,000. PSPCA workers said Kennich is microchipped so they'll be able to easily identify him.
The SPCA is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to finding the pup and arresting the culprit.
“There’s the concern about someone stuffing a puppy into a backpack,” Wilson said. “What’s happening to that animal and what’s the real purpose behind him taking this puppy?”
Anyone with information was asked to report it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 866-601-7722.