Photo: Chalfant about to break loose
HOLLISTER – Maybe he was just trying to break his lost dog out from confinement. Still, the method that 51-year-old Cecil Chalfant used proved to be unlawful.
On May 5 a citizen found a lost dog and took it to the Hollister Police Animal Care and Services Shelter, and then posted a picture of the dog on social media, informing any viewers that the dog was safe at the shelter.
Apparently Chalfant saw the notice and went to the shelter with some tools, that he then used to break into the kennel and get his dog back.
Surveillance video helped police to later identify Chalfant as the culprit. He told authorities his story, but made no attempt to contact the shelter or police, both on the night of his deeds, nor the following Monday once they were open again.
Chalfant was cited and released for burglary, and was also issued a citation for his dog running at large.
The HPD notes, “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 someone 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.”