Local family suspects their dog was stolen for dog-fighting ring

Max is a boxer-lab mix.
Max is a boxer-lab mix.

PETERSBURG, KY (FOX19) - A Burlington family is desperate to find their beloved dog. The McMasters family believes their boxer-lab mix was stolen right from their yard early last week.

The family is not just worried about where Max is, but what someone may be doing with him.

Where the family lives, Lower River Road, there isn't a lot of traffic.

"The speed limit on this road's only 20 miles-per-hour.  When somebody goes really fast, you kind of notice that," said Lonnie McMasters, Max's owner.

That's what got his attention last week.

McMasters manages the River Ridge Park campground. He says that a car turned around in his neighbor's driveway, stopped out front of his property, and then took off.  In that moment, his beloved dog Max was gone.

"I'm 99% sure that somebody has picked my dog up right off the side of the road, right here by my house because he does not wander off," said McMasters.

Last Tuesday morning Max was let outside, as he is any other morning. He walked to the side of the yard, and 10 minutes later, McMasters says he was missing.

"She said that that's been happening a lot lately that dogs that look like "that," referring to my dog keep going missing due to fighting rings," McMasters told FOX19.

That's what he learned while handing out flyers in Petersburg, Ky.

"That got me really worried because I went from, 'somebody stole my pet to have their own pet,' to, 'somebody stole my pet to maybe kill it,'" he said.

McMasters has had Max since he was five weeks old.  Max is now 8 months old, and McMasters works with him every day, intensely training him. That is why he does not believe Max just ran away, especially with Tuesday's blast of winter weather.

"He was only outside for 10 minutes, and he was gone.  We haven't seen him since.  He would have come home in that storm," McMasters said.

McMasters says he will file a report with the Boone County Sheriff's Office on Monday. FOX19 reached out to the sheriff's department to see if they've noticed or investigated any dog fighting problems or claims.  We have not heard back yet.

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