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Valuable puppies stolen from Spanish Fork backyard


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SPANISH FORK -- Police in Utah County are trying to solve the case of the stolen puppies.

Did you know ... ?
The Alaskan Malamute is named after the native Innuit tribe called Mahlemuts, who settled along the shores of Kotzebue Sound in the upper-western part of Alaska. The Mal is a popular sled dog.
--American Kennel Club

It happened two Sundays in a row -- puppies, stolen from their kennel in the yard of the Haycock family's Spanish Fork farm.

On Oct. 3, the family was awoken around 2 a.m. by the puppies' parents, Chip and Timber, barking in the backyard. They went outside to find that two puppies were gone.

Then again on Sunday, the same thing happened around 3 a.m. -- only this time, four puppies were missing.

Zach Haycock says there's no doubt someone took the Alaskan Malamute pups.

"We had [the kennel] wired all to the ground and everything staked down," he says. "It's obvious that someone pulled it up."

Police also believe someone is trying to make money by selling the stolen puppies.

"They weren't running at large, they were in kennels. The family does take care of the animals," said Lt. Steve Adams with the Spanish Fork Police Department. "Where they were at, a human would have had to get involved, either taking the animals or releasing them from the kennel."

Haycock says they started with 10 puppies. The six taken are worth $500 or $600 apiece -- totaling in a loss of about $3,000. But the family is much more upset about the puppies' welfare than the money. Haycock says one of the puppies has a heart murmur.

"It's way frustrating because the puppies, we don't know if they're going to have a good home or not," he says. "We don't care about the money as much as the well-being of the puppies, and it's sad to know they could be dead somewhere."

Valuable puppies stolen from Spanish Fork backyard

Haycock says the mother is clearly distressed.

"She's whining like every night, going around, searching the yard, trying to find the puppies," he says.

She's not the only one who misses the pups. Haycock's younger siblings are crushed.

"It's kind of hard to explain that someone could actually do this when they've grown up not having anything like this happen," he says.

Police took pictures and are investigating the thefts. Haycock says officers advised the family to put up fliers and watch for ads online.

Haycock says he has some advice for would-be dog owners: "If you're buying a Malamute puppy and people don't have the parents on site, then be suspicious," Haycock says.

Haycock says the family doesn't use the parents for breeding, and that the 10 pups came as a surprise. The family doesn't raise the dogs to sell, but when the puppies were born they knew they had to eventually sell most of them. All the puppies, who are 7 weeks old, already had new homes lined up.

The family is offering a reward for the return of the puppies or for information leading to the person or people responsible for taking them.

If you have any information on these puppies, contact the Spanish Fork Police Department at 801-804-4700.

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Story compiled with contributions from Shara Park, Becky Bruce and Sam Penrod.

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