One of 3 stolen puppies returned to PAWS day after arrests - FOX Carolina 21

One of 3 stolen puppies returned to PAWS day after arrests

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Iggy the puppy is back at PAWS. (March 20, 2014/FOX Carolina) Iggy the puppy is back at PAWS. (March 20, 2014/FOX Carolina)
The Lewis' outside of the Anderson Co. Detention Center Wednesday. (March 19, 2014/FOX Carolina) The Lewis' outside of the Anderson Co. Detention Center Wednesday. (March 19, 2014/FOX Carolina)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

One of three puppies stolen from an Anderson County animal shelter has been returned, a day after four siblings were arrested in connection with the theft.

The director of Anderson County PAWS, Jessica Cwynar, said deputies were able to recover Iggy, the pit bull mix puppy, on Wednesday.

Iggy was one of three puppies stolen from the shelter March 12. Deputies arrested Kenneth Lewis, 22; Randle Lewis, 20; Cassidy Lewis, 19; and Taylor Lewis, 17, on Tuesday on one count each of petit larceny.

Anderson County Lieutenant Sheila Cole said the dog was purchased by a person in Spartanburg County, who reportedly paid $70 for the puppy.

The Lewis family spoke when they were released from jail Wednesday. They said they were the ones seen on surveillance cameras swiping the puppies.

"It was kind of like a rescue mission ... without paying for them," Cassidy Lewis said.

The siblings said the mission was not planned, but they happened to just pass by the shelter and stop in.

"It took forever for them to even warm up to us, you know, get playful outside the cage," Taylor Lewis said. "And then when we put them back they were just like shaking and shivering and so we, it broke my heart thinking I had to put them back."

"We just did this because we had to get those dogs out of there, we had no choice, we, we did have a choice," said Kenneth Lewis. "We couldn't help it. We got in there; we were looking at those dogs. We just wanted to see the cute puppies then we ended up taking three of them."

The family said they gave the puppies to good homes and did not harm them in anyway.

"We were taking those dogs out of the kill shelter, and putting them in good homes," said Randle Lewis. "And we find nice, decent people. Not wealthy, but decent people took those dogs."

Following their arrests, the Lewis' said they gave investigators the contact information to the people who have them.

The siblings said they apologized to the family that had already been promised one of the puppies and admitted they went about the situation the wrong way.

Cwynar said the shelter takes care of the animals, giving them proper food and water. If someone sees something they think is amiss, they should let them know.

The whereabouts of the other two puppies have yet to be determined. And the Lewis' will have to return to court in April for their petit larceny case.

According to Cole, investigators said the siblings gave one of the other dogs to a woman they met at Pilot Travel Center in Piedmont for free. And the third puppy may have been given to a family in Beaufort, Cole said.

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