Would You Steal a Dog to Save Its Life?

“The dog could barely stand up she was so weak. She was shaking, she was so cold,” Autumn said. “I don’t think I stole her, I think I saved her.”







If you saw an emaciated dog with a chain embedded in its neck, left outside in the freezing cold, you’d do what you could to save it, right?  That’s what some animal lovers in Washington state did, and the Humane Society of Tacoma just put her right back into the hands her abuser and said animal control is investigating.

A neighbor took photos of Kiki and posted them and the Tacoma, WA address on Facebook, and a small band of vigilantes decided to rescue her.  What they were planning is against the law, but if laws aren’t just, it is up to people to do something about them.

“The dog was clearly starving and in really bad shape so we got a group of us and go over there,” Autumn Niesz-Ramos told Fox13.

Four people entered the property of Steven Lee Jr., whose father is the owner of Kiki.  They found the poor girl chained to a dog house, which unfortunately is legal in Washington.  The group cut her chain and carried the dog away.


1.16.15 - Rescuers Save Dog Only to Have Her Returned to Abusive Owner2


“The dog could barely stand up she was so weak,” Autumn said. “She was shaking, she was so cold.”

Kiki’s tight chain had become driven into her skin, and the crew brought her to a veterinarian.  They weren’t trying to break the law, but something had to be done for this dog.

She was turned over to the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County, who gave her back to her owner.  They are legally required to, unless there is a warrant or they believe the dog is being abused.  Could they really not see that this dog was being abused?

“We are very concerned about Kiki, too. Her case is under investigation by Animal Control, and we are working with them to be sure Kiki gets the care she needs,” Aubrey Clement told me.  “By law, we cannot refuse to return a pet to its owner. We do, however, report cases of neglect and cruelty, and work closely with Animal Control to be sure they are investigated.”

Hopefully that is the case, and we sincerely hope Kiki’s family will be taking care of her.  At least now the spotlight is on them and animal control.

“I don’t think I stole her, I think I saved her,” Autumn said.


We do not advocate stealing dogs.  As well-intentioned as it is, theft is a crime in every state, and sadly, dogs are only considered property to some.  Do what you can legally – get photos and videos, speak to the owner, put food, shelter, blankets, water, straw, etc. out for the animals in need.  Know the laws in your state and town, and make sure you are courteous with police and sheriffs.  Keep on them and make sure they know what the laws stipulate, too.  “Adequate” shelter means that animals are to be protected from heat, cold, and other inclement weather.  It might be legal to keep animals tethered, but not when it threatens their well-being.

1,225 thoughts on “Would You Steal a Dog to Save Its Life?

  1. What is wrong with Tacoma animal control? Clearly they could seize the dog and wouldn’t have to return it to that abusive fucken owner. People that do this to animals need to be tied up and starved just as they did to the animal.

  2. They made a mistake turning her over to the spca! I’d have paid for the vet bills and kept the old girl, she deserves a decent loving home! Given the choice I might have hit the shitbag that owned her with a bat on the way out as well but hey…that’s just me!

  3. I’ve done it once and I’ll do it again. I re-homed the dog to a loving couple. I would never put the dog in the hands of a rescue service because the owner has the right to re-claim the dog in many situations. It’s so damn wrong.

  4. why even this showing here,? I would have taken the pup, and disappear with it, yes stolen, gone, to be loved and fed to never go back to that hell. so I stole a dog. sue me. you will never know where?.

  5. I would steal it in a heartbeat!!! I mean really do you think the people who were abusing it would call police and want to draw attention to what they themselves have done?!

  6. Absolutely ! I have learned my lesson about animal control and their policies and that is why when I find an animal that has been a victim of obvious abuse ,I handle it myself with vetting and rehoming on my own…I no longer ask for their help . I do not cry wolf either…if I call it is egregious ,obvious and immediate not a wait and see situation.

  7. Of course I would! this story is infuriating! someone needs to go back and steal her again, I’m betting the shithead owners put back out

  8. Save the dog and rehome it. Don’t get authorities involved unless you know they can help. The dog is obviously abused and needs help.

  9. Already did it & I’d do it again. Now if only I could get away with sending the owners outside on a chain while I beat them.

  10. YES … in a second, and hopefully beat the piss out of the fuck that did what caused me to steal it. And DON’T bring it to the INHUMANE SOCIETY

  11. Yes, I would! And yes I have!!! Years ago they were doing construction where we lived and one of the workers actually kept this dog tied to a stake and just like this story he had an orange electrical cord digging into his flesh and he could only move about one and a half yards around in a circle. We took him off of this and he followed us as we walked our other two dogs. We took him back to our house and to make a long story short we had him as part of our family for over 12 years. When taking him to the vet he had a bad case of heartworms and so for our new family member we plopped down a few hundred dollars which in retrospect was one of the best investment I have made in my life. Our vet gave Daniel only a few months to live without the treatment. Daniel was a loyal and very loving family member for all of those years. God bless our vet who actually back dated papers to make it look like we had had him longer than what we did in case his worthless previous owner challenged that Daniel was our dog. Our vet saw how they had mistreated him and did not love him at all and was not about to let his worthless owner have Daniel back. So yes, I would steal a dog and give it a loving home in a heartbeat!!!

  12. i would have taken the dog and it would have found a good home end of story call it stealing but it sure would have been gone!

  13. Take the dog and please don’t send it back to its owner! My heart cries when I read stories like this. Laws need to be stricter – we are the Voice for the voiceless 🙁

  14. Is the dumb ass Humane Society blind … why not keep her and help her heal until the investigation is over …. she will probably perish back at the original owners … someone should take those a-holes to the back of the barn and shoot them dead!!!

  15. Malnourished ? That poor baby is emaciated .. And yes, l would take the dog, and scream from every roof, fighting her/his corner, till she/he was going to the right hands to be cared for properly and loved..lt`s called having a moral conscious – Tacoma animal control are idiots!

  16. if to save its life?!—Yes! there’s a big difference between stealing to save and stealing to hurt.

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