Case Snapshot
Case ID: 14414
Classification: Beating, Theft
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Prosecutor(s): Stephen Campbell

For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.

Friday, Aug 22, 2008

County: Josephine

Disposition: Not Charged

Persons of Interest:
» Harley D. Hopkins
» Jacob Goodboe
» Holly Hopkins

Case Updates: 5 update(s) available

The Josephine County Sheriff is looking for the people who kidnapped eleven dogs from the county's animal shelter Friday night.

Four puppies are dead, three found their way back to the shelter and four are still missing. Now locals can't believe this level of violence reached their community.

The cries of the few dogs left at the Josephine County Animal Shelter can still be heard from the street.

But, the rest of the dogs were either kidnapped or taken by volunteers from the shelter for safety.

Volunteers say the suspects came in through the back, then picked the most defenseless dogs.

Brad Tally, the supervisor at the shelter, says he's shocked this could have happen.

"There's a lot of issues that we deal with, neglect, abuse and cruelty in this county...I've lived here my whole life and I've never seen or heard of anything to this magnitude being done to an animal," he says.

There are two layers of fencing the suspects had to cut through after breaking into the facility before they pulled each 11 dogs from their cages.

Some like Seth, a gold adult dog have been found wandering around the area. Others are still missing.

The sheriff says four of the puppies were found dead on Pleasant Valley Road near the 700 block. Not run over by cars but beaten to death then purposefully laid out on the street.

Sheri James lives close and she says she couldn't imagine this happening in her neighborhood.

"That's terrible, this world these days...I've lived here for 15 years and I can't believe that would happen," she says.

Now the nearly deserted shelter is hoping the community will help find the missing dogs and help catch the people who did this.

Tally says this is the sixth time since January the shelter has been broken into. He says he has requested more money for tougher security, but he says there's just not enough money in the budget.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the sheriff's office at 474-5123.

Case Updates

The third suspect in a break-in Friday, Aug. 22 at the Josephine County Animal Shelter in Merlin has surrendered, but none of the three have been charged in the deaths of four dogs found fatally beaten.

Two suspects arrested Tuesday evening, Aug. 26, were identified by Josephine County Sheriff's Office as Merlin residents Harley Davidson Hopkins, 22; and Jacob A. Goodboe, 16. They made initial court appearances Wednesday, Aug. 27 on charges of second-degree burglary, criminal mischief, theft and trespassing.

Deputies first arrested them on charges of first-degree aggravated animal abuse charges. But those have been set aside as investigation proceeds, according to Sheriff Gil Gilbertson.

The suspects maintain that they had taken some of the animals to a transient camp. Investigators are checking to determine who last had the canines found dead.

On Thursday afternoon, Aug. 28, accompanied by attorney Kathi Holmbeck, 16-year-old Holly Hopkins, of Merlin, turned herself in to face charges of theft, burglary, and criminal mischief. Earlier that day, she returned a Blue Heeler puppy, the last of 11 canines removed from the shelter.

The dogs all appeared happy and healthy, said Belle Shepherd, the director of Josephine County Public Health, which includes the Animal Control section.

"We couldn't be happier to have all the animals back and safe at the shelter," said Brad Tally, Animal Control supervisor, in a news release.

Investigators suspect that Harley Hopkins, Holly Hopkins and Goodboe broke into the shelter after it closed Aug. 22. Harley Hopkins thought his Chow mix had been taken there for running-at-large and he wanted to retrieve it without paying a fine, but the animal was not there, said Shepherd.

Indications are that the trio apparently cut chain-link fencing on kennels to free 11 of the 15 dogs at the shelter that night. Four of them, all younger than 6 months, were found dead at about 11:30 p.m. Friday. They were killed by blows to their heads and placed in a particular configuration in the center of Pleasant Valley Road in the 700 block in Merlin, according to reports.

Three canines were found loose at the shelter Aug. 23. Another, an older Dachshund, was found running nearby on Tuesday; and officers tracked down a Chocolate Labrador while seeking the suspects. When searchers encountered Hopkins and Goodboe on Tuesday, the two had another of the missing dogs, a young spotted Blue Heeler.
Source: Illinois Valley News - Sept 3, 2008
Update posted on Sep 2, 2008 - 11:51PM 
Three people suspected of involvement in the killing of four puppies are now facing criminal charges.

The last suspect wanted in the case, 16-year-old Holly Hopkins, turned herself in to police Thursday. On Friday was arraigned. She is facing a total of nine felony charges that include burglary, theft, and criminal mischief.

The other two suspects, Holly's older brother, 22-year-old Harley Hopkins, and North Valley High School Classmate 16-year-old Jacob Goodboe, were arrested on Tuesday. They face the same charges as Holly. As of this time, none of the suspects are face animal abuse charges.

"When we review and file a case we have to have proof beyond reasonable doubt in order to go forward. And we are not at that point at this stage of the investigation in regard to those animal abuse charges," says Josephine County District Attorney Stephen Campbell.

Holly Hopkins and Goodboe are being detained in Josephine County Juvenile Detention Center. Harley Hopkins is in in the Josephine County Jail.

Last Friday, kennel fences were cut at the Josephine County Animal Shelter and 11 dogs were stolen. Four border collie puppies were found beaten to death later that night. Over the past week, six of the missing dogs have been found and returned. Holly Hopkins' attorney turned in the the last one Thursday morning.

Police say the three of them initially broke into the shelter to get an impounded dog belonging to one of them. There have been six break-ins at the county shelter this year, officials say, mostly people retrieving their animals without paying fines or fees. Shelter officials say they have raised several thousand dollars from donations that will be used to install extra security systems.
Source: KDRV - Aug 29, 2008
Update posted on Aug 29, 2008 - 11:43PM 
The investigation into the animal shelter break-in and subsequent killings of four dogs is now in the hands of District Attorney Stephen Campbell, who's charging the suspects with seven counts of felony second-degree burglary, one count of first-degree felony theft and a count of second-degree criminal mischief.

Noticeably absent from the charges is the more serious crime of felony aggravated-animal abuse they were originally booked on.

"In reviewing the evidence we did not believe we have enough evidence at this time to file aggravated animal abuse charges. That being said this is an on-going investigation and we continue to try and solve that aspect of this crime," says Campbell.

Another twist: the Sheriff's Office is investigating a man and woman living at a transient camp behind a grocery store in Merlin, just down the road from the shelter and near Pleasant Valley Road where the dogs were found brutally killed.

Animal protection and regulation supervisor Brad Tally says two of the dogs that made it safely back to the shelter were recovered in that area. But the Sheriff's Office says it's not ready to jump to any conclusions.
Source: KTVL - Aug 29, 2008
Update posted on Aug 29, 2008 - 7:50PM 
The last of three suspects in last week's Josephine County animal shelter break-in that resulted in the bludgeoning death of four puppies turned herself in. Sixteen-year-old Holly Hopkins of Merlin surrendered Thursday afternoon. She is charged including burglary, theft and criminal mischief. Two young men arrested earlier face those charges, as well as felony animal abuse.

Hopkins returned the last of the dogs freed when, deputies say, the three broke into the shelter to get an impounded dog belonging to one of them.

There have been six break-ins at the county shelter this year, officials say, mostly people retrieving their animals without paying fines or fees.
Source: The Argus Observer - Aug 29, 2008
Update posted on Aug 29, 2008 - 4:54PM 
The Josephine County Sheriff's department has arrested two subjects and charged them with the break-in at the county animal shelter.

11 dogs were kidnapped from the shelter over the weekend. 4 of the animals were found dead on Pleasant Valley Road.

Information regarding the burglary came in to the sheriff's office earlier this week and has led to the arrest of two individuals.

22-year-old Harley D. Hopkins and a 16-year-old juvenile are in the county jail on charges of felony animal abuse, first degree theft, criminal mischief and second degree burglary.

A female suspect is still being sought. Felony abuse charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison if convicted.

Yesterday, two of the missing dogs were found and returned to the shelter. The investigation is continuing.
Source: KAJO - Aug 27, 2008
Update posted on Aug 27, 2008 - 12:01PM 


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