The Madison County Sheriff's Office is investigating a theft case after they say nine trained hunting dogs were stolen. They say the people who took the dogs thought they were abandoned.
Investigators say three of the nine dogs were returned. According to deputies, the dog owner isn't violating any statutes in Madison County, because Huntsville's no tethering law doesn't extend there. Animal Control says the dogs aren't considered abandoned, since the owner checks on them multiple times a day.
"She said it'd been better for you if you had that chain tied around your neck rather than those dogs," said the property owner.
That's what the property owner said one woman said to him as she and a group of people took his dogs on Sunday. He wanted to remain anonymous.
"You just can't go onto people's property and take things off," said the property owner.
He says they told him they were taking the dogs because they believed no one was taking care of them. He didn't know the people or how to contact them.
The dog owner doesn't live on the property but says a family member used to live there in a trailer. He moved the trailer off the property last Friday, to make room to build a new home. Neighbors who didn't want to go on camera say they worry about the dogs, and the dogs often bark through the night. The property owner insists these dogs are well taken care of, and he just wants them back.
"We playing a waiting game right now," he said.
The Madison County Sheriff's Office says if you see animals you believe are in danger or abandoned, contact Animal Control. They say even if you have good intentions, it's still a crime to take something that doesn't belong to you.