Trio Allegedly Try To Break Dog Out Of Pound For Funeral

(AP) Two men have been charged with second-degree burglary after they and a teenager were trying to bust a dog out of the city pound for its owner's memorial service.

The mixed-breed dog, Luke, was picked up April 22 while roaming the streets of the tiny Carter County community of Wilson. One day later, his owner, 53-year-old Saundra Vickers, died from health complications, Police Chief Felix Hernandez said.

A rumor began spreading that authorities planned to euthanize Luke. So early Sunday, 17-year-old Willie Justin Miller, 18-year-old James Thompson and 22-year-old Matthew Gonzalez broke into the pound in an attempt to free the dog, Hernandez said.

During the break-in, Hernandez said, they turned off security lights and cut the lock at the pound with wire cutters.

The goal of the trio was to allow Luke to attend his owner's memorial service later that day, Hernandez said. But a Wilson officer caught the three as they tried to leave the pound with the dog.

"The door to the pound was wide open and there was a guy with the dog in his arms," Hernandez said. "The guy said that his dog had run away and he found him sitting in front of the pound. The officer knew the dog had been picked up (and) that the guy wasn't the dog's owner."

As it turns out, Hernandez said, authorities had no plans to put Luke to sleep. He said Vickers' family understood that as soon as a fence was built to contain Luke, the dog would be returned to the family.

Gonzalez and Thompson posted bail after being booked into the county jail. They were formally charged Monday, records show.

Miller was cited and released to his mother.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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