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Abilene man arrested for breaking into animal shelter

Cages holding many of the 150 dogs were opened, leading to some of the animals escaping the shelter. At least one dog died, possibly from fighting, police said.
Credit: City of Abilene

ABILENE, Texas — An Abilene man has been arrested after breaking into the Abilene/Taylor County Animal Services building early Friday.

Abilene Police were called to the shelter just before 7 a.m. Friday on a report of a break-in. Officers found someone had climbed the fence surrounding the building, gotten into the building through the roof and opened many cages to the side of the building housing dogs, freeing many of the more than 150 dogs in the shelter.

Officers found one of the dogs dead and several others injured because of what they believe to be fighting among the dogs. Several others escaped the property through an outside gate, requiring Animal Shelter crews to attempt to find them outside of the property grounds.

According to police, there was damage to the inside of the building’s office area and other parts of the building, including the roof where the man entered the building.  A van owned by the shelter was also stolen from the property and later recovered in north Abilene.

APD Major Investigations Property Crimes Unit detectives picked up a man matching the description of a possible suspect and took him to the station for questioning hours after the break-in.

George Paul Jones, 38, was officially arrested and charged with the break-in, animal cruelty and theft of a motor vehicle. He is being held at the Taylor County Jail.

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