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DC foster parents arrested in case of kidnapped dog and puppies

Police have arrested and charged Zenobia Fisher and Alphonso Allen with second-degree theft and animal cruelty.

WASHINGTON — Two D.C. residents were arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 11 and charged with second-degree theft and animal cruelty following a joint investigation by the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) and the Metropolitan Police Department.

Zenobia Fischer began fostering a dog named Godiva and her seven 2-week-old puppies on Aug. 18th, according to a news release.

Detectives say Fischer gave the HRA a false name and address when going to foster the pups.

Once Fischer left the HRA with Godiva and her puppies, HRA's foster team was unable to contact her again, despite numerous attempts.

An investigation by HRA's humane law enforcement officers and MPD revealed Fischer's real identity and discovered that she, along with Alphonso Allen of Northeast Washington, D.C., had sold at least four of the puppies to separate individuals for money.

Police say two of Godiva's puppies remain missing.

"Every year, we have over 3,000 animals that go through our foster program, it's a vital component to the work that we do here; we have never faced this type of situation," Director of Field Services with the HRA, Dan D’Eramo, told WUSA9.

HRA is offering a reward of up to $7,500 for information confirming that they are safe.

All tips can be reported anonymously to HRA at 202-723-5730.

D’Eramo specified that, although the reward is still active, it's not meant to take the puppies from any loving owners; it's simply to account for them and ensure they are up to date on needed check-ups and vaccinations. That's because the puppies are now old enough that they have passed the window of needing to be reunited with their mother. 

"If anyone has any information as to where they might be, please reach out," D'Eramo shared. "Like I said, at this point, we want to just be able to check on them."

Over the course of the investigation, HRA found and reunited five of the puppies with Godiva and their siblings. 

According to the HRA, 

"Godiva has been an incredible mom; from teaching the puppies how to care for themselves to showing them how to socialize, her maternal guidance has been a crucial part of their puppyhood. The five siblings love to wrestle and play with each other, often taking turns dragging their favorite large rope toy around the yard and cuddling together for nap time. These interactions are critical to the puppies' development, as they are practicing important behaviors and communication skills that will follow them into adulthood. We are extremely grateful for the precious time this family has had together."

HRA officials reiterated they would work to reunite Link, Apollo and Oli with the families who unsuspectingly purchased them. 

Godiva, Glitter, and Aries will soon be available for adoption. Those interested in adopting can visit humanerescuealliance.org/adopt (which is updated in real-time) to see whether they are available for adoption.

For a timeline of the investigation, visit humanerescuealliance.org/godivas-puppies.


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