Dognapped in the Nick of Time

By Jessica Greene
|  Thursday, May 13, 2010  |  Updated 9:06 AM PDT
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Pit Bull Sprung From Doggie Death Row at Last Minute

Someone used bolt cutters to get through a fence and broke the latch securing Max's cage to free the dangerous dog from the Alameda Animal Shelter just hours before the he was to be put down.
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He bit two people and was sentenced to death but just hours before he was to be put down, Max the pit bull was sprung.

On Tuesday night, someone used bolt cutters to get through a fence and broke the latch securing Max's cage to free the dog from the Alameda Animal Shelter. It's a first for Alameda police Lt. Bill Scott, who said he's never heard of such a crime in all his 28 years at the department

The owners, Melissa Perry and Richard Cochran, were given permission to see Max for a final time Wednesday. But that morning, shelter staffers discovered the evidence of the break-in -- and Max was nowhere to be found.

Police want to talk to Perry and Cochran and went to the Alameda hotel where they live but have yet to find them or their beloved Max. Neighbors said they had not seen the couple or the dog.

Perry begged the city to spare Max at a dangerous dog hearing, saying he's a loving companion "full of love for people." She said in court papers that she would "take any means necessary to prevent Max from bring put to sleep," our friends at the Chronicle tell us.

Suspicions have obviously turned to the owners, but John McCurley, the attorney who represented the Perry and Cochran at the hearing said of the couple, "definitely wouldn't think they would do something like that."

Security cameras at the Alameda Animal Shelter got a good look at the person who sprung Max but they're not ready to share the video just yet. They say they just want to get Max back in custody before he can hurt someone else.

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