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W. Mich. family fears its dog stolen

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A West Michigan family fears its dog was stolen as part of a dog fighting ring.

1-year-old Raven was last seen April 26th.

Her family started a Facebook page called "Find Raven," but despite fast support, there's been no sign of her.

The family tells Newschannel 3 that they have heard from others that dog fighting is taking place about a mile from where Raven went missing.

So, in an effort to bring Raven home safe, they've posted hundreds of fliers around town.

They've also traveled to several county animal shelters, hoping someone has turned her in.

For the last week and a half its been torture for the Hassing family, wondering what happened to their puppy named Raven.

"I just always think how she would come in my room at night and give me good night kisses and I just miss that," said 10-year-old Carleigh Hassing.

Raven got loose at D&S Auto last Saturday and ran near Cork Street.

"We have been told by witnesses that AT&T workers were nearby when a gentleman in a blue SUV, possibly in an Expedition picked her up," said Darcy Hassing.

Now the family fears for Raven's safety.

"His worst fear is possibly being used as a bait dog for dog fighting. My worst fear is she is so sweet, so young, she's only a year, that somebody falls in love with her like we did, and feels they want to keep her," said Hassing.

Whichever the case, Julie Barber with Kalamazoo County Animal Services tells us that's illegal.

"In the State of Michigan, animals are considered property, it would be a theft," said Barber.

Unfortunately, Barber tells us dogs, just like Raven, are reported stolen often.

"That is a daily issue, unfortunately no one wants to believe their animal would have run away, just like no one wants to believe their kid was bad in school," said Barber.

The Hassings tell us they won't press charges, all they want is for Raven to come home.

"She's like a sister to me, so having her gone just doesn't help at all," said 12-year-old Eryca Hassing.

Barber says if a missing dog, with no ID is turned into Kalamazoo County Animal Services, the owner has seven days to physically come to the shelter and claim it.

After seven days the dog can be rescued, adopted or euthanized.