Georgia Animal Control officers suspect a string of recent dog thefts may point to some highly illegal and inhumane activity in the area.
Dog owners beware; a thief is on the loose in Thomasville. His prey? Man's best friend.
"The animals were either outside or we've had people come and say their pen is wide open where it was locked up and the dog is missing," says Pat Smith, director of the Thomas County Humane Society.
Twenty-three dogs have been stolen from their owners' yards in Thomasville in the past two months. One of those is Jeanie Crittenden's boxer, Jill.
"Two weeks ago today a car pulled up in front of my mom's house and the driver lifted its hood. The last time my dog was seen was he was bent over petting her, that was it," says Jeanie.
A puppy matches the description of the dogs being stolen from homes. She has strong jaws and a strong body, perfect for dog fighting or breeding.
"We do have dog fighting going on in this area, people will often steal other people's pets to fight them."
Jeanie Crittenden says she'll never give up hope that Jill or any of the other dogs will be returned. She just doesn't understand why this is happening in the first place.
Jeanie Crittenden's neighbor was able to get a description of the thief. She describes him as a white man in his 30s of average height and muscular build, wearing a baseball cap and driving a medium-size, four-door white car.
If you have any information, call the Thomas County Humane Society at 229-228-0613.