Stolen dogs, gunfire raise suspicion of dog-fighting ring

WEST PARIS — Last month, Kyle Kilgore returned to his West Paris home after a few hours away to find one of his two dogs missing.

Submitted photo

Avy, the dog stolen from Kyle Kilgore of West Paris.

Avy, a 2½-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, had been tied up in the front yard of his West Paris home. Her lead appeared to have been severed with bolt cutters.

Avy sometimes got loose and ran to the neighbors' house, but the neighbors hadn't seen her. A week later, a woman in Hartford found Avy's body dumped on her lawn, wrapped in a tarp.

“They put her in a bag, wrapped her in a tarp, zipped the tarp shut and wrapped the cable around her,” Kilgore said. Avy was still wearing her collar.

Eight dogs have been reported missing or stolen this year in Woodstock, Sumner, West Paris and Hartford, Animal Control Officer Ozzie Hart said Thursday. Hart said he believes it's related to a dog-fighting ring.

Most of the missing dogs have been pit bulls, Hart said, although one was a yellow Lab.

Hart said Kilgore's dog appeared to have been shot through the head and had suffered tearing on her ears, but the body was too decomposed to tell how she died.

In addition to the dog thefts, Hart said he had heard reports of dogs barking and gunshots at night off Old County Road in Woodstock. He said those sounds are consistent with dog-fighting activities.

On Thursday, two people in the area called Hart and said they'd seen trucks driving by the power lines and had heard gunshots and dogs at night. The reports have increased lately, and residents are reporting noise as often as three nights a week.

Hart said he believed the stolen dogs were being used as “bait dogs,” non-aggressive dogs used to train fighting dogs. Bait dogs are used to teach aggression in fighting dogs and are often mauled or killed in the process.

Kilgore said he still hadn't told his youngest son that Avy's body was found. Kilgore said when he picks up his 3-year-old son from day care, he wants to go out looking for his dog.

“He tells me, 'We have to go look for Avy,'” Kilgore said. “She was basically one of the kids."

Kilgore said he got her at eight weeks and raised her himself. She was well-socialized and got along well with his children. “If there were any problems, she was right there with them.”

As far as his son knows, Avy ran off. “It really sucks to try to explain something like this to your kid,” Kilgore said.

“It's not anything I would want anyone else to go through, that's for sure,” he said.

Hart said he had heard reports of missing dogs since January, but until finding Avy, he hadn't seen a connection. In January, a man lost his dog when a small, dark-colored truck stopped and a man threw the dog into the truck and took off.

Months later in Canton, a couple left their dog in the car when going into The Big Apple store. When they left the store, the dog was gone. In another case, a dog was missing but the dog's collar was left in the yard.

Robert Larrabee, animal control officer for Oxford Hills towns, including Paris and Oxford, said he hadn't received any reports of stolen dogs in the area. He said the thefts seem to be occurring in West Paris, Woodstock, Sumner and Hartford.

“I'm still shocked," Kilgore said. "I just don't see how someone could do that. I couldn't imagine just riding around and looking for other people's dogs.”

“I hope they catch them before I catch them,” he said.

At this point, dog-fighting is a suspicion, Hart said.

He said anyone who has seen strange activity or knows of people involved in dog-fighting in the area can call him at 357-2818. He said people involved in dog-fighting are armed and could be dangerous.

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I really hope that they find

I really hope that they find these people i dont think they realize how many people they are hurting for there stupid games if anyone knows about this please report it to the local attoratys it is very scary for any pet owner out there right now i am very sorry to hear about avery i just hope we can find a way to stop the maddness

missing dogs

we are missing our dog to he is a gray and white border collie if any one sees him please call 3362977

missing dog

we found my moms dog in oxford thanks to everyones help

 's picture

Missing dog

I'm so happy you found your dog Tammy.

TOM FOURNIER's picture

How people can be so cruel is beyond me

The public should be outraged! These worthless morons should be tortured. I’d love to tie them up and rip them all to shreds. They’re all sick criminals and are despicable and should face felony charges for each dog they tortured. The same goes for any sicko that attends these disgusting events. They are just as criminally culpable and sadistic, heartless individuals with no morals or conscience, just plain evil. Animal abusers are cruel, sick, weak bullies who enjoy watching helpless loving sentient animals suffer. They deserve to suffer in hell, as they assuredly will. I hope they all get caught very soon, and harshly prosecuted, as this outrageous conduct definitely should not be taken lightly. The road to hell is paved with animal abusers. I hope they all burn in hell for being the devils they are. "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant

Rowan White's picture

This is absolutely

This is absolutely heartbreaking and infuriating. My heart goes out to the folks who lost their canine critters because some creep thinks dog fighting is a fabulous form of entertainment.

David  Cote's picture

Can we put a govenor on Dan's keyboard?

Dan...Cmon. Are you for real? Are you in charge of comic relief? Up to now I figured you were just another liberal that has permanent blinders attached to your mind. However this display completely erodes any credibility any of your comments may have a chance to hold. Let go of the anger and live a little for a change. Oh, and compassion is a nice thing to show on occasion as well.

 's picture

Dogs in Danger

Dan, what does this have to do with Democrats or Republicans???? Not a thing. This is our loving family pets in danger of being kid-napped and MURDERED!!!!!. Get off your high politican high horse and see the light. Obviously you don't own a dog!!!!

 's picture

Poor Avy

Avy and these other dogs don't stand a chance against these people and dogs raised to be aggressive. Please people, also be very careful in giving away puppies, dogs, cats or any other animal on craigslist or other site. These people often get animals that way also. They will use any animal to train these dogs.

Should be easy enough to figure out who it is.... I hope they get them fast

BTW.... I thought trolls were being done away with here....

 's picture


How could anyone be so stupid and bring politics into this subject. That only proves that you must be an idiot.

Maybe we can get lucky and they will mistake you for a dog and see how it feels. Show some compassion Dan.

Jeanne Boelsma's picture

Blame the republicans?

Dan, That is just plain ridiculous. Republicans (or Democrats for that matter) did not cause these callous, sick people to steal family pets and kill them for sport. These low-life people have no consciences and no empathy, either for the dogs or the families that owned and loved them. I sincerely hope they are caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law before any other animals are hurt or killed.

Rowan White's picture

Political affiliation has

Political affiliation has nothing to do with this topic, Dan. I detect a troll.

Rowan White's picture

These things exist,

These things exist, regardless of who's in power. Frankly, I'd say the same thing if you were dragging Democrats/Independents/Socialists/People for the Election of Purple Monkeys into the discussion. To assume a certain level of causality in this case because there are Republicans in power is woefully short-sighted.

Lest you think I'm a Republican, I'm not. I'm very much left of center, but I'm also a fan of logic. That is, I'm laying the responsibility on those who run and frequent these dog-fighting shows. Unless one of them happens to be an elected official, I'm gonna say no.

 's picture

dog theft

Stealing bikes, cars, lawn ornaments now stealing dogs. Next there going to start stealing kids. It's bad enough we have to tell our kids to watch for strangers or strange acting people. Now we can't even leave our animals in our yards or cars anymore. Pretty soon we won't even be able to go outside of our house for fear of someone trying to steal something from us. This world is getting bad. You can't just shoot someone trespassing on your property without getting in trouble. People are just sick. What are people thinking? I hope these people are found. They shold have the same thing done to them as they do to the dogs they steal. Have them be bait then shoot them in the head.


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