PIQUA — Justice will be served for Piqua resident Kenneth Nash, whose six beagle puppies were stolen from his property a few hours before sunrise on Wednesday.
Nash realized the puppies were stolen when his wife heard a noise out in their back yard. His wife looked out the back window and said, “Your dog’s out,” to Nash at roughly 3 a.m. on Wednesday. Nash went out to check the scene and noticed the pups were gone, but the mother beagle, Dot, was there.
“That’s when I called 911 and they (Piqua Police Department) got a call on a disturbance,” Nash said. Piqua police responded to Nash’s call about the stolen puppies at approximately 4 a.m. The disturbance was only a few blocks away from his home.
Officers were dispatched to the disturbance call shortly after Nash’s call. According to Deputy Chief Marty Grove, one of the people at the disturbance, a woman, was holding one of the stolen beagle puppies. The woman provided the name of the perpetrator.
During the course of investigating where the woman got the beagle puppy, Piqua police reportedly were led to Matthew King. The remaining puppies reportedly were found at approximately 9:30 a.m. in a closed, red duffel bag in King’s backyard. One of the puppies reportedly had an eye injury.
King, 20, was charged with fifth-degree felony receiving stolen property and second-degree misdemeanor cruelty to animals in connection with this incident.
“The investigation is still ongoing and more charges are possible,” Grove said.
This theft could have negatively affected Nash and his family, more than just stealing innocent puppies. Nash, who is a 20-year beagle breeder, relies on the profits he makes selling the beagle puppies to supplement his income. The value of the puppies was estimated at $1,500, according to Miami County Municipal Court documents.
“Anymore, it’s getting to be an everyday occurrence; this is not the first time I’ve had a dog stolen,” Nash said.
Nash has a 5-year-old grandson whom he was prepared to teach a lesson on a harsh reality in life.
“I was more concerned with him because he’s got attached to one of the dogs and I would have to tell him, ‘Unfortunately, there’s bad people in the world and they took your dog,’” Nash said. “Lucky for him, he didn’t show up until after I got them all back.”
The pups, only six weeks old, are just now getting to the age to be weaned from their mother. Had the puppies not been found, they would have been taken from their mother too soon.
Nash also puts a lot of time and effort into getting his beagles certified by the American Kennel Club (AKC), which certifies that the pups are trained for hunting and are pure-bred beagles.
“It takes effort to get them to do that,” Nash said about getting pups certified.
“Piqua Police Department did a great job,” he said. Nash expressed appreciation for the Piqua police officer who realized the woman with the dog could be in relation to Nash’s 911 call. “And if that lady would have never told him (Nash wouldn’t have the pups),” he said.
King is currently being held at the Miami County Jail on $50,000 bond. King was arraigned Thursday morning in Miami County Municipal Court.
If anyone has any further information, the Piqua Police Department can be contacted at (937) 778-2027. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling 937-615-TIPS (8477) or by visiting www.piquaoh.org/police_submitatip.htm for more information.