Hampton — Three of six newborn husky puppies stolen from a Hampton pet grooming business were reunited with their mother early Saturday, less than day after they’d been snatched, according to the dogs’ owner.
The man accused of taking them — 50-year-old Ronald Jackson — was arrested Saturday and charged with breaking and entering, grand larceny, grand larceny with intent to sell, and six counts of animal larceny, according to Hampton police. Jackson is homeless, police said.
Officers found two of the blue-eyed puppies in a home where an acquaintance of Jackson’s lives, said Bandi Murdock, who owns the dogs and the business from where they were taken. The other was returned by a woman who told Murdock she paid $100 for it. Murdock said she reimbursed the woman.
“We’re just so thrilled to have them back,” Murdock said. “But we’re also very worried about the ones that are still missing.”
The puppies were just 13 days old when a man broke into Murdock’s Critter Cleaners pet salon on West Mercury Boulevard at about 1:30 a.m. Friday.
Surveillance video showed the man fixing a meal for himself, watching TV, taking a shower in the dog bathing area and ransacking the shop before ripping the security cameras out about 3 a.m., Murdock said. He also took money from a tip jar and cash register, she said.
Murdock said she kept the puppies and mother Nala at the salon because people are there 12-14 hours a day, and Nala sometimes gets aggressive with Murdock’s other pets when she has puppies. Murdock and her husband, Kevin Kramer, live close by and go to check on them at night.
“The puppies get very socialized over there because there’s always so many people around,” she said.
Murdock said police called about 12:30 a.m. Saturday to let her know they’d recovered two of the puppies, and she rushed to get them. She got a call about the other puppy several hours later.
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The first two puppies were gone for about 21 hours, and the third about 29 hours, Murdock said.
“Nala was so ecstatic to see them,” she said. “The puppies immediately latched on to her.”
Murdock said this is Nala’s third litter. Her puppies are registered with the American Kennel Club and Continental Kennel Club and typically sell for $1,200 each.
Murdock said she usually waits until they’re 8-10 weeks old before selling them. They don’t start weaning from their mother until they’re between 4-6 weeks old.
“We’re still very hopeful that we’ll get the other puppies back,” she said. “But time is running out for them. They need to be with their mother.”
Anyone with information about the puppies is asked to contact Hampton Police at 757–727–6111 or the Crime Line at 1–888-LOCK-U-UP. Tipsters can also send an anonymous information by going to P3Tips.com. Anyone who provides a tip that results in an arrest could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
Jane Harper, 757-222-5097, email@example.com