It was a bit of a storybook ending for two small female dogs that were stolen from the Johnson City/Washington County Animal Control Center last week.
Maisie, a 6- or 7-month-old Chihuahua mix, and Mabis, an older Yorkie, were found by officials Thursday and both dogs have since been adopted.
The mother and daughter accused of stealing the dogs from the animal shelter Oct. 26 — Cathy M. Poole, 54, and Sara N. Poole, 24, both of 105 N. First Ave., Jonesborough — have each been cited with one count of theft of property under $500, according to Johnson City police.
Animal shelter director Debbie Dobbs said the entire situation could’ve turned out a lot worse.
“I was upset someone would steal because it was wrong, but if they had to steal that means they couldn’t take care of the animal. They either couldn’t feed them or couldn’t have them spayed — neither one of the two little dogs are spayed — and I was worried they’d be out there using them for breeding or not be taking care of them. Our main concern was the dogs. We’re just glad we got the dogs back and they’re going to homes that we know are going to take care of them,” she said.
Maisie was found Thursday afternoon by Jonesborough public safety officers in the men’s bathroom at Willow Springs Park.
Shortly after recovering Maisie, Dobbs said her office received a tip about the whereabouts of Mabis by a woman who claimed that Cathy Poole had offered her a Chihuahua mix.
According to the police report, officers were sent to the First Avenue address in Jonesborough, where they found Cathy Poole, who was later identified as the same woman seen taking the dogs in the animal shelter’s surveillance footage.
Police said Sarah Poole later came to the Jonesborough Public Safety Department with Mabis. She reportedly denied knowledge of the crime, but admitted she knew she was in possession of a stolen dog after seeing her picture on the Internet Wednesday.
Sarah Poole told police “she would have eventually returned the stolen dog when she convinced her mother to return hers as well,” the report reads.
Police said Cathy Poole later admitted to stealing the dogs “because she could not afford to pay the (adoption) fees.”
Mabis was adopted before the shelter closed its doors Thursday, and Maisie was adopted soon after the shelter opened Friday afternoon.
“The happy ending of the story is we got the dogs back. They got checked to make sure they were OK. We had an adopter for the older Yorkie right off the bat by a real nice couple here in Johnson City that had seen her,” Dobbs said.