Target: Mark Tyrone Gibson and William Terrell
Goal: Condemn thieves for stealing innocent pit bull puppy
Two men were recently charged with stealing a deaf pit bull puppy from his owners’ apartment in Baltimore, Maryland. Their names are Mark Tyrone Gibson, 37, and Terrel Hudson, 33, and they are currently being held in the Baltimore County Detention Center on $20,000 bail each. Although the two men allegedly stole many items from the home of Mike Lenhart and Anna Hiken, the pet owners said they only cared about getting their puppy Thor back. Police caught Gibson and Hudson when the two criminals agreed to sell the puppy back to Lenhart in a local shopping mall parking lot. When they arrived, Lenhart and the police met them.
The two dog owners were overjoyed to have their puppy back. Anna Hiken told reporters, “My boyfriend actually Facetimed me as soon as he had [Thor] in his arms. I immediately started crying, just because it’s so unreal to me.” Lenhart and Hiken were so distraught before getting Thor the puppy back, they had even started a page on gofundme.com to raise funds for the puppy’s ransom. They had raised $1,370 in donations and an additional $1000 from Baltimore Bully Crew, a local organization dedicated to celebrating pit bulls and their owners. According to Hiken, all donations will be refunded.
Although Gibson and Hudson’s motivations are still unknown, pet theft is common, especially among breeds like pit bulls. Many stolen large breed dogs are sold as “bait dogs” to train in illegal dog fighting operations. Some are sold and shipped to puppy mills. And if offered a reward in time, many thieves will sell stolen pets back to their owners at steep costs. Pit bulls are often sold to be “breeding dogs” in small backyard breeding operations where they are not given adequate space, attention, or even food. Had the thieves not been caught, who knows what terrors would have awaited poor Thor the puppy.
Pet thievery is always wrong, but this case is especially shocking. Thor is among the most defenseless of animals, due to his age and disability. Condemn the individuals who stole him for their own selfish gain.
Dear Mark Tyrone Gibson and William Terrel,
Your actions of burglary against Mike Lenhart and Anna Hiken are reprehensible. To many pet owners, their animals are important members of their family. This puppy’s deafness makes him a particularly defenseless creature, one who deserves all the love and protection he receives.
I am writing to you today to condemn your actions, and to urge you to examine the reasons why you stole this innocent puppy. Please think twice before stealing a pet again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ildar Sagdejev via wikimedia commons