Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton confirmed that the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office is investigating the felony theft of two adult miniature beagle dogs that occurred in January.

The male and the pregnant female are believed to have been taken from private property located south of Hamilton.

Sheriff Holton said the dogs were discovered deceased and dumped in the Lake Como area in late March.  Investigators believe the female had delivered and nursed the puppies, which are believed to be approximately 7-8 weeks old now.

Sheriff Holton said Deputy Jason Liechty is the lead investigator for the case and there has been evidence collected that will help link the perpetrators to the crimes.  Sheriff Holton stated, "Deputy Liechty has done a tremendous amount of work on this case, and we are confident that if we can be lead to the right suspect or suspects we will have enough evidence to charge the crimes of Felony Theft and Aggravated Animal Cruelty".  Holton added, "right now, we are hoping that someone in our community will know who is responsible for these crimes, and that they will notify us of their suspicions".

The case has been well publicized through social media, and Sheriff Holton asks that anyone with information contact the Ravalli County Sherriff’s Office by calling (406) 363-3033.

Anonymous tips can be made through the Ravalli County Sheriff's App for mobile devices, or by calling Five Valley Crime Stoppers at 406-721-4444.