Hollister police arrested a man who broke into the kennels at the Hollister Animal Shelter after catching him on surveillance.
According to a police announcement released Monday:
On May 6, 2018, a Hollister man was charged with burglary after he broke into the drop off kennel at the shelter.
On May 5, 2018, a concerned citizen located a dog running loose in Hollister. The citizen had concern for the dog’s safety and was not able to determine who owned the dog. She took the dog to the Hollister Police Animal Care and Services Shelter where there is an overnight/drop off Kennel available for people to drop off lost dogs. The kennel will lock after the door is closed. She posted on a social media site a picture of the dog and if anyone was looking for their dog, it had been taken to the shelter.
Later that same day, video surveillance at the Animal Shelter captured a man and a woman arriving and leaving soon after. The same man later returned and used tools to break into the kennel and removed the dog.
Police were notified and started an investigation. Police were able to identify the man as Cecil Chalfant (51), who advised he was the owner of the dog. Mr. Chalfant advised he noticed the posting on social media and responded to the shelter and found his dog locked in the kennel. The man made no attempt to contact the police or anyone at the shelter. He also made no attempt to contact the shelter on the following Monday to advise them of what he had done.
The man was cited and released for burglary and issued a citation for having a dog running at large. His case has been referred to the District Attorney’s Office.
The Hollister Animal Care and Services Bureau would like to thank the responsible citizens who did the right thing and took the time to take the loose dog to the shelter. Dogs running at large are always in danger of being killed by a car, being attacked by another animal or being stolen. The overnight kennels are checked every day by Animal Shelter Staff; even on the weekends. There are blankets and water in the kennels and they are cleaned every day.
Taking a lost dog to the shelter insures that the rightful owner has a place to check to see if their dog has been found. Citizens posting on social media advisements of a found lost pet and asking for somene to come claim them have no way to determine if the person picking up the dog is the actual owner. Citizens may expose themselves to liability if they find a dog and give it to the first person who says they own it. The shelter can verify local records or check for a microchip to confirm the rightful owner.
If a pet is lost or for more information on licensing and vaccination requirements, please contact the Hollister Police Animal Care and Services Bureau at 636-4320