Owner Fesses Up in Fugitive Dangerous Dog Case

By Jessica Greene
|  Friday, May 14, 2010  |  Updated 9:34 AM PDT
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Max, a 3-year-old pit bull, was declared a dangerous dog and condemned to death, after biting two people.

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A dangerous dog and the people who allegedly helped break into the Alameda Animal Shelter and sprung him from doggie death row are all in police custody.

Max the pit bull's 57-year-old owner was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing the dog from the shelter, Alameda police said. Max had been declared a dangerous dog and was condemned to death after biting two people.

Richard Cochran was arrested on suspicion of burglary and conspiracy. He told investigators that he planned to steal the pit bull with his girlfriend, Melissa Perry, who was with the dog in Nevada. Reno police later went to location of the fugitives, and eventually both Perry and the pit bull were taken into custody without incident.

The 3-year-old dog will be kept at Washoe County  Regional Animal Services until he can be returned to the shelter in Alameda, where he was scheduled to be euthanized Thursday before he was stolen.

Police said Cochran cut through a cyclone fence to access the shelter and used bolt cutters to cut the lock off a kennel to free Max. He admitted to coming up with the plan to steal the dog, police said, and went to a store to purchase a set of bolt cutters.

Perry and Cochran will face conspiracy and burglary charges.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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