Caldwell County man charged after allegedly breaking into animal control facility

The man’s dog was previously taken by Animal Care Enforcement officers.
William Cane Byrd
William Cane Byrd(Caldwell County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 4:41 PM EDT
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CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A man has been charged after he allegedly broke into an animal care facility and stole his dog over the weekend in Caldwell County, officials said.

According to county officials, Caldwell County Animal Care Enforcement (ACE) received a call about a dog muzzled and tied to a tree on Saturday, April 15.

ACE officers made multiple attempts to find the dog’s owner, but after failing to do so, took the dog to their facility.

Officials said that later Saturday night, its owner, 23-year-old William Cane Byrd, broke into the facility to retrieve the dog.

Lenoir Police launched an investigation and charged Byrd with several offenses, which are listed below:

  • Felony breaking and entering
  • Felony larceny of a dog
  • Felony possession of stolen property
  • Felony possession of burglary tools

Byrd was released on bond and had the dog returned to his care.

Investigators determined that Byrd was not responsible for muzzling and tying the dog to the tree.

Officials provided the following tips to prevent pets from being lost:

  • Spay or neuter pets as soon as possible. Both male and female pets that are not spayed or neutered are much more likely to go looking for companionship and get lost as well as produce unwanted litters.
  • Make sure pet have a collar with a rabies vaccination tag and ID tag. Cats can wear stretch collars with flat tags that are riveted directly to the collar.
  • Have pets microchipped. Microchips are a great way to help find lost pets. All animals that enter the Caldwell County Animal Shelter are checked for microchips.
  • Keep pets in a fenced yard or on a leash when they are outside. Do not let pets roam free.
  • Keep all pets indoors during severe thunderstorms, other severe weather situations, and on the Fourth of July. Many pets escape from their yard or run away because of their fear of fireworks or thunderstorms.

More information about finding lost pets in Caldwell County can be obtained by calling ACE at 828-572-4535.

Related: Charlotte animal shelter ‘overfull,’ desperate for adoptions, fosters