Two charged with breaking into three animal shelters in one night

ROWAN COUNTY, North Carolina (WBTV) – Two people have been charged after law enforcement in two counties say they broke into three shelters on the same night and stole pit bulls from their kennel.

According to Sheriff Rowan’s report, two people broke into the Rowan County Animal Shelter on Julian Road between 11:20 p.m. Monday and 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. An animal control officer who arrived for work on Tuesday saw damage to a chain-link fence at the back of the shelter and found a door ajar.

Initially, four pit bulls were believed to be missing, but officers later noticed that one of the pit bulls had been moved to another kennel and was still on the property.

Two of the missing pit bulls, named Lightning and Thunder, had been recovered earlier in the day by Animal Control from a Kannapolis yard where the resident had called to report finding the dogs.

A third dog named Wessie was also missing. Other pit bulls were still at the shelter and have not been removed, according to the report.

Deputies found tire tracks in the wet grass near the gate, and surveillance video from a nearby business showed a dark-colored vehicle in the area around 4.20am.

Shortly after, deputies received a call from the Faithful Friends shelter on Grace Church Road. A worker was alerted to activity in the shelter by motion detected on a surveillance camera. A dark vehicle was seen leaving the area.

No dogs were removed from Faithful Friends, but a door was damaged and pieces of a vehicle taillight were found on the ground.

Investigators later learned that there was also a break-in at the Davidson County Animal Shelter and that two pit bulls were removed from that facility. It happened between 1:30 a.m. and 2:15 a.m.

Davidson County deputies were able to locate Wessie, one of the dogs taken from Rowan County, because Wessie had been implanted with a microchip.

Davidson deputies charged Joe Lee Jeanis, 20, and Taylor Bottemly, 17. All dogs have been recovered.

This story will be updated.