The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has positively identified the suspect in this case as Salvatore Ted Arena, age 42, of Freshwater. The three dogs, Angel, Becky and Ginger, had belonged to Arena’s brother who passed away suddenly in February of this year. Arena began trying to surrender the dogs to local rescues about one week ago stating that he was moving to the East Coast. Gail Holder of K-9 Angels Rescue had been in frequent contact with Arena and was working to try to get the dogs into foster care. She received a call from him on 08/21/13 just before the dogs were found abandoned in Fairhaven. Arena told her that he had to leave the following morning and that he could not put the dogs in his truck and take them across the country with him.
The Sheriff’s Office will be seeking a warrant for Arena’s arrest. At this time we have reason to believe that he has already left the area. Anyone having information to the contrary is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Animal Control Division, 707 840-9132, or the Crime Tip Line, 707-268-2539.
Really? Someone just drives out to Fairhaven, lets his three dogs out of the truck, tells them "stay," and drives away? Really? You, in your newer, black four-wheel drive truck, be advised that Animal Control is all over this.
Here's the press release:
On 08/21/13 an Officer from the California Highway Patrol brought three dogs into the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Animal Shelter that were found running in the roadway on New Navy Base Road at Lincoln Avenue in Fairhaven. The dogs are a black Labrador retriever mix, approximately 12 years old, a brown German shepherd mix, approximately 10 years old, and a brown Airedale Terrier mix, approximately 10 years old. All three dogs are female.
On 08/21/13 Animal Shelter staff located a posting on Craigslist from 08/08/13 from an unidentified person in Freshwater who stated that their neighbor is/was moving to the East Coast and had three dogs that he could not keep. There were photos of the dogs on the Craigslist posting and they are the same dogs as those brought into the shelter. The back yard of a residence is clearly visible in one of the photographs.
On 08/22/13 Animal Shelter staff located a second posting on Craigslist about the dogs. This posting is from someone who saw a male subject abandon the dogs on New Navy Base Road and Bay St. The posting states that a male subject in his mid-30’s with short hair, driving a newer black 4 wheel drive truck left the dogs and was telling them to “stay” as he drove away. One of the dogs was nearly struck by a car while chasing the truck down the road. It is not clear if the person responsible for this Craigslist post was the person who reported the loose dogs to CHP. Animal Shelter staff has replied to both Craigslist postings but have not received any response.
Abandonment of an animal is a crime. The Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Division is asking for the public’s help to identify the owner of these dogs. Anyone who recognizes the dogs and/or the back yard of the residence in the photographs is asked to call Animal Control Officer Hale at 707-840-9132 or the Crime Tip Line, 707-268-2539