Two women were arrested tonight and charged with stealing a puppy earlier this week from the Animal Rescue League in Homewood.
Nicole Deusanio, 25, of Homestead, and Kayla Pint, 25, of West Mifflin, have been charged with retail theft, said Pittsburgh police Sgt. Arthur Baker.
He said the 2-month-old pit bull Labrador mix was found unhurt at Ms. Deusanio’s home by West Homestead's canine officer. Dan Rossi, executive director of the Animal Rescue League, said the police were bringing the puppy back to the shelter.
Sgt. Baker said the two women put the puppy under a coat and walked out of the shelter shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday after Rescue League personnel told them the puppy would cost $300.
Mr. Rossi said the women and a young child came in Tuesday and wrote their names on a sign-in sheet at the main kennel area -- later determined to be illegible. They said they were interested in adopting a dog, and stayed about 20 minutes, spending most of their time around the puppy pen, Mr. Rossi said.
The shelter gave police video surveillance of the incident, which shows one of the woman putting the dog in her coat, while the other distracted employees.
At the end of the night, an inventory check revealed the dog, who shelter employees called Smitty, was missing. Mr. Rossi said he thinks the woman likely intended to sell the dog.
Mr. Rossi said he doesn't want to turn the joy of finding a pet into an interrogation process, and hopes this will deter any other would-be thieves.
"This is supposed to be a happy time where people are trying to find family members" to complete their families, he said.
First Published February 14, 2014 3:15 PM