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Crime Pets

Police seeking two for dog theft

Richmond Police detectives need the public’s help to find two women who stole two therapy dogs from two disabled veterans.

Detectives are looking for Tess A. Fisher, 20, whose last known address was the 1100 block of West 43rd Street, and Rachel A. Steinman, 19, of the 1000 block of North 26th Street. Both are wanted on two charges each of grand larceny and obstruction of justice. Their photos are attached.

Detectives believe the two women stole the dogs—a black and tan Chihuahua named Fatty and black and white colored Jack Russell terrier named Spot—between noon and 1:45 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, from 2 E. Broad St. Both dogs serve as therapy dogs for two veterans.

The Chihuahua has since been recovered.

Detectives ask anyone with any information about these women’s whereabouts or this crime to call Detective Dale Shamburg at (804) 646-3781 or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000. Citizens may also text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by your tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

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23 Comments
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Knownhuman
Knownhuman
7 years ago

Beyond shameful.

Jenny Tremblay West
Jenny Tremblay West
7 years ago

how awful.

Eric Huffstutler
Eric Huffstutler
7 years ago

What were these girls thinking… just pure selfishness of wanting the dogs or what?

PaulF
PaulF
7 years ago

Careful now…should read *alleged* to have stolen, etc. That pesky old innocent-till-proven-guilty bit, eh what?!

Suzanne Snell
Suzanne Snell
7 years ago

pretty damn low, IMO

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

Let’s hope the next dog they try to steal is a biter.

PaulF
PaulF
7 years ago

The RPD should know better. They simply do not get to decide questions of guilt or innocence, and for them to phrase a press release in that way is highly prejudicial. But whatever, eh?

I don’t know either of these women, but my spidey sense is telling me that the full story here is likely to be rather more nuanced here than this press release might lead you to believe.

neighbor
neighbor
7 years ago

@ chpn-I think Paul was simply saying they haven’t gone on trial yet and so far it is an alleged crime, innocent until proven guilty. The point is to avoid a “witch burning” situation before anyone is convicted, etc.

clay st resident
clay st resident
7 years ago

Channel 8 is reporting that the second dog has been found!

Lucky Canine
Lucky Canine
7 years ago

I happen to know a little bit about this case as I by chance met one of these girls on the day the dogs were supposedly “stolen”. The girls thought the dogs had been abandoned. The dogs were in an alley in downtown Richmond and tied to a fence. The girls saw them there for a period of 5 hours with no owners monitoring them. The girls thought they were rescuing the dogs. I do not know either of these girls but happened to meet one of them when she was trying to find out if either dog had a… Read more »

Anne
Anne
7 years ago

I’m with Paul. I feel like there’s more to the story, and it’s been kind of disturbing watching the two ladies get pilloried in comments across the web.

bozatwork
bozatwork
7 years ago

Am I supposed to believe that anyone would actually steal a Chihuahua? Especially one named “Fatty.”

I don’t know any reputable canine organization that leaves the animals intact. Especially one that trains dogs for service. So if they really were intact then I doubt the dogs are registered in the city (a fine for the owners) at a minimum. And I doubt they’re actually service dogs, as the original release quoted.

Dog Owner
Dog Owner
7 years ago

Unfortunately when you take some one elses property into your own hands you have to deal with the consequences. If they were concerned about the animals maybe they should have asked the businesses in the immediate area about the dogs or left a note with their contact info before they decided appropriate the dogs.

Human honey Badger
Human honey Badger
7 years ago

Burn the witches…Burn the witches

Melissa
Melissa
7 years ago

I could see the need for immediate action when two small dogs are tied up in a neighborhood that often has large dogs roaming free. I’m interested to read more about this and I hope it ends well for everyone.

Lucky Canine
Lucky Canine
7 years ago

These dogs are not certified therapy dogs. The “therapy” that these dogs provide is as companions to people who are lonely and struggle to keep their lives on track. Having to provide care and be there for another living being – in the case a dog – helps these guys get up in the morning and live a somewhat normal life. This type of animal companion does provide a valuable service, whether it’s to a war veteran or a kid with cancer, but the pet is not certified and, therefore, is not required to be neutered, etc. I understand that… Read more »

AmyN-B
AmyN-B
7 years ago

Thanks for the full story, Lucky Canine- I also wondered if the dogs had been liberated rather than stolen.

G.
G.
7 years ago

AmyN-B & Lucky Canine:
Unfortunately, this may not be the “full story” on our neighborhood’s version of Thelma & Louise….there seems to be conflicting accounts, hence, the lawyers and judge. So, let’s see how it plays out in court.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2012/sep/20/lawyer-says-woman-accused-dog-theft-worried-about-ar-2220605/

All Bark
All Bark
7 years ago

@17, there may not be a requirement that the dogs be neutered but the owners ARE required to have a breeders license by the city and have the pets be rabies vaccinated per the state of Virginia.
In my experience willfully ignorant and obstinate people don’t bother with spay neuter for their dogs and cats.
Anyone remember all the posts about found puppies and kittens on this VERY website? yeah, those animals come from dogs and cats that are NOT spayed or neutered! Oh my god, right?!

Lucky Canine
Lucky Canine
7 years ago

We are getting our neuter requirements confused, All Bark. The city of Richmond DOES require that ANY companion animal that lives in the city be spayed or neutered unless the owner has a breeders permit. I was saying that a quasi therapy dog does not have to be neutered for you to claim it as a therapy dog as long as some doctor prescribed you a dog. Said quasi therapy dog also is not required to be spayed or neutered if you live some place that allows intact companion pets, like maybe Henrico. Basically this type of “therapy dog”, which… Read more »

tiny1
tiny1
7 years ago

I think the girls handled the situation poorly and it was their own actions that got them in trouble. Hopefully they will be able to obtain legal counsel and get the charges reduced – it would be shame to have this conviction on your record. I am sure (hope) they learned a lot from whole incident.

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

Based on the facts that are coming out, this doesn’t seem like it warrants a jail sentence or serious charges. Sounds more like a misunderstanding/argument?

As I understand it:
1. The dogs were left out for some period of time
2. The girls thought the dogs were endangered and took the dogs.
3. The girls gave the dogs away to someone else to care for them?
4. The owner asked for the dogs back and after some delay, the girls returned them?

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