Spring Hill-City View woman arrested in dog snatching; husky remains lost


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Pittsburgh police today arrested a Spring Hill-City View woman who they say stole a dying man's dog on Thanksgiving and assaulted officers when they confronted her.

But police have yet to find Thor, the husky.

"We are seeking the help of the public in a case of a dog that was stolen on Thanksgiving day. The dog's owner is dying of cancer and would love to see his dog again," police Officer Christine Luffey said tonight.

Officer Luffey wrote in a criminal complaint that Mark Boehler, who has stage 3 cancer, told her, "The person who stole Thor has no idea of the stress, sadness and anxiety that this is causing him." While Mr. Boehler told police he knows he is too sick to care for Thor, he entrusted the care and custody of the dog to a friend.

Mr. Boehler told police his husky was taken from his backyard Nov. 28, the criminal complaint states. The next day, Gisele Paris, 57, took a husky to the Animal Rescue League and said it was a stray. She returned to claim ownership of the dog on Dec. 11.

Ms. Paris brought Thor to the vet in January and said she'd adopted the dog from the Animal Rescue League, Officer Luffey wrote. A veterinarian recognized the dog as the one that had been stolen from Mr. Boehler and contacted police. Office workers told Ms. Paris to "do the right thing and call the owner," but Ms. Paris became irate, Officer Luffey wrote. Ms. Paris told the staff not to give her contact information to anyone, and screamed that "This dog was in deplorable condition. You don't know. I saved it. I rescued it. I took it out of a bad situation."

Today, Officer Luffey and several others went to Ms. Paris' home to serve an arrest warrant. When police encountered her walking another dog, she screamed and threw herself to the ground, Officer Luffey wrote. Ms. Paris kicked one officer in the chest and kicked Officer Luffey in the legs. She had to be carried to a police vehicle, because she refused to get up, the officer wrote.

Ms. Paris faces theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property charges, as well as two felony counts of aggravated assault and a count of resisting arrest. She is in the Allegheny County Jail.

Anyone with information about Thor's whereabouts is asked to call Officer Luffey at 412-488-8425.


Liz Navratil contributed. Lexi Belculfine: lbelculfine@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc.

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