BANGOR, Maine — Animal shelters in three Maine communities — including Bangor — are seeking help from the public and from police in solving what could be a dog-stealing spree that began on Saturday in West Kennebunk and continued Monday in Augusta and Bangor.

According to information the three animal shelters posted on social networking pages, the missing dogs are identified as:

–Selene, a red-and-white Pekinese mix stolen Saturday afternoon from the Animal Welfare Society’s shelter in West Kennebunk.

–Candy, a small black Lab mix, approximately 35-40 pounds and about 3 years old. Candy disappeared from the Kennebec Valley Humane Society’s shelter in Augusta about midmorning Monday.

–Aikido, a 2-year-old male American pit bull described as red and tan in color and extremely friendly. Aikido was taken between 2:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. from the Bangor Humane Society’s animal shelter on Mount Hope Avenue.

All three thefts have been reported to police.

Though she couldn’t say for sure if the three Maine dognappings were connected, Bangor Humane Society Executive Director Suzan Bell said, “I don’t believe in coincidences. When was the last time you heard about a dog being stolen [from an animal shelter] in Maine, let alone three dogs?”

Bell also pointed to similarities between the Bangor and Augusta cases. She said that in those two incidents, the biographical information posted on the dogs’ crates was taken.

Bell said she learned of the Bangor dog theft after she got home from work on Monday, when she received a text message from Bangor Humane Society staff. About the same time, she received a message from her counterpart at the Augusta shelter, who is a close friend.

Contacted at home Monday evening, Bell was heartsick about the dog thefts, especially the one in Bangor involving Aikido, whom she has gotten to know in the weeks he has been in the shelter.

“He needs to be back with us. He deserves a loving, wonderful home,” Bell said.

Though she said she fears the worst, Bell said, “I just pray he was taken by someone who simply couldn’t afford to adopt him.”

Anyone who has information about the dog thefts should contact local police or the Bangor Humane Society at 942-8902 or 991-2437, the Kennebec Valley Humane Society at 626-3491 or the Animal Welfare Society’s West Kennebunk Shelter at 985-3244.

Copyright (c) 2011, Bangor Daily News, Maine

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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