A city councilman’s dog, who is scheduled to be put down later this month, was stolen during a break-in Sunday night at Sioux City Animal Control. Sioux City Councilman Aaron Rochester owns the 3-year-old yellow lab named Jake.
The dog was deemed vicious and sentenced to death for biting a neighbor who walked by Rochester’s home on June 27th. Rochester says he was "surprised" to hear Jake was stolen.
"But, we have gotten so much media attention about this incident that (the break-in) is less surprising…there’s been so much attention on this case involving Jake," Rochester said. Animal Control officials say Jake was the only animal taken in the burglary.
Police say they do not have any suspects. Officers have requested a search of Rochester’s home, but he denies any involvement in the break-in. Rochester says he expected something like this might happen as local resident told him they planned to set Jake free.
"I’ve (received) probably 100 phone calls and you never know who’s serious and who’s not…they’re people I don’t know, so I can’t really tell you who said it," Rochester told Radio Iowa.
"It’s been a month-and-a-half that this thing’s been going on. Nobody recently has said anything like that, but people have made comments like that in the past." Several Sioux City residents have lobbied the city council to amend the animal control ordinance or place a moratorium on it to save Jake and other dogs deemed vicious.
Rochester says he hopes Jake is safe and feels particularly bad for his four children. "They’re upset to lose their family dog…it’s not fun," Rochester said. "They’re not crying everyday or anything, but they wish they could have their dog back."