Lexington man charged after stealing 8-week-old puppy from shelter

Updated: May. 10, 2018 at 6:39 PM EDT
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After being denied an adoption, Peter Klein attempted to steal this 8-week-old puppy. (Source:...
After being denied an adoption, Peter Klein attempted to steal this 8-week-old puppy. (Source: LCSD)

A Lexington man is facing charges after he stole a puppy from a shelter last Tuesday.

Lexington County deputies say Peter Klein, 20, turned himself in on Thursday, May 10. He is charged with larceny of a dog.

On May 1, Klein attempted to adopt an 8-week-old puppy from a PETSinc shelter in Lexington County. He was denied an adoption because he did not meet the shelter's minimum age requirement of 21. Employees at the shelter said Klein then took the puppy and left out of a side door.

"He was committing a crime, it was a malicious act after being denied the adoption process," Investigator Josh Skeen with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department said. "We want to get these taken care of rather quickly so this smaller crime doesn't end up turning into larger crimes later in life."

Klein gave his real identity during the adoption interview so deputies were able to track him down quickly. After he turned himself in, he was charged with larceny of a dog and could face up to six months in jail.

"I really and truly didn't think we would see the puppy again," said Michael Barrett, director of PETSinc. "Just for the simple fact you never know what's going to happen. Finals are going on, kids are finishing up and leaving to go out of town. I was really surprised when I received a phone call the next day saying he was on his way and that was less than 24 hours, the puppy was back in our possession."

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