WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) — A Westport woman is accused of stealing her ex-boyfriend’s dog and giving it up for adoption to an animal shelter in Rhode Island.
On May 26, Angela Benetti, 39, told the owner of “Jet,” a 7-year-old female dachshund, that soon after he went to work that morning the dog had run out of the house and was missing, Westport police said Thursday. The dog’s owner searched the neighborhood and wooded areas for days, posted flyers in the neighborhood and on social media looking for her, and offering a substantial reward for information on the missing dog.
On June 21, a tip about the dog posted to a pet-finder web site led the dog’s owner to the city animal shelter in Pawtucket. There was Jet, waiting to go to a home. Shelter personnel told her owner that back on May 26, a woman had brought Jet in, saying she found the dog walking on Newport Avenue in the city, giving what police said was a false name and address and her own true cell phone number. Further investigation revealed the woman who brought him in was the dog owner’s ex, Angela Benetti, police said.
Benetti denies stealing the dog or giving her up to be adopted.
Police arrested Benetti on Thursday, and charged her with larceny over $250 — the dachshund is valued at more than a thousand dollars. She faced a judge at arraignment at Fall River District Court later Thursday morning; she is due back in court in August.
Implanting your pets with identifying microchips is strongly encouraged, Westport Police Det. Jeff Majewski said in a release Thursday. Jet didn’t have one, and came very close to being lost forever. “This was much more than a case of an angry person who wanted to cause some grief… Based on our investigation [Benetti] had no intention of informing the owner of the dog’s whereabouts.”
Anyone with information about this theft is asked to call Westport Police Detectives at (508) 636-1122.