• Ocala woman hopes her 17 stolen pit bulls won't be used for dog-fighting


    OCALA, Fla. - Authorities said 17 pit bulls, including 15 puppies, were stolen from her home near Ocala late Monday night.

    The victim, who asked to remain unidentified, told Marion County Sheriff's deputies that two female dogs and the puppies were locked up in the backyard when she went to dinner.

    When her boyfriend got home a little over an hour later, the dogs were gone, she said.

    "I offer my own reward, out my pocket, for the safe return of these animals," the victim told Channel 9.

    The woman said the dogs were in cages off the ground that were secured with a barrel-bolt latch. The backyard also has a 6-foot privacy fence.

    "It's sad that a person would go to that extreme for their personal benefit," the victim said, saying the crime has left her terrified in her own home.

    "I have small children.  It's absolutely and utterly scary," she said.

    The victim fears her animals might wind up on the Internet for sale or as part of a dog-fighting operation.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
    In late May, seven pit bulls were stolen from pens at one Ocala home and five pit bull puppies were stolen from another.

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