CPD arrests suspect in Animal Ark dog theft


COLUMBUS, Ga — A local woman is in jail Wednesday after police suspect she was the one who stole a sick dog from Animal Ark Rescue shelter last week.

Officers arrested 25-year-old Aysia Newkirk in connection to the theft after a Facebook user submitted a Crime Stopper’s tip.

As News 3 reported, Animal Ark volunteers noticed a Chihuahua mix named Lil Paul was missing March 1. Surveillance video shows a woman entering the shelter the night before and leaving with Lil Paul, his dog bed, and a bag of food.

The shelter’s missing post for the pup went viral on social media with close to one thousand online shares. Animal Ark warned in the post Lil Paul was weak from surgery and would not survive without his medication.

The next day, surveillance video shows the same woman leaving the dog in the shelter’s play yard.

Newkirk face charges for second degree burglary. Her first court appearance is at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The Columbus Police Department thanks the community for its help identifying the suspect.

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