A Stolen Dog, a Dead Cow, and the Justice System
The photo to the left shows Kojak, an American Staffordshire Terrier, and his friend Nathan King. Let’s get right to the point–this story ends badly for Kojak. He’s dead. And, his friend King almost ended up in court.
Kojak originally belonged to a woman who had to move out of the area. As a result, Kojak was given to King. They became good friends.
On September 27, 2014, King said, ‘I woke up to [my roommate] telling me [Kojak] was stolen and he’s already called the police but they wouldn’t do anything because he wasn’t the owner.”
King said his roommate had taken Kojak on a walk. The two saw the roommate’s former friend who had also known and cared for Kojak. According to his roommate, the friend, a woman, “jumped in some dude’s truck” with Kojak.
Law enforcement told King that because Kojak’s chip was in his former owner’s name, that woman would have to report him stolen.
Eventually, King was able to get the chip put in his name and report Kojak stolen. He blanketed the area with flyers where the woman lived that he believes took his pet.
King said he did everything he could to get Kojak back. “I called the prosecutor for months, I put hundreds of posters up everywhere,” he told us.
He even contacted this reporter asking for help. “Please,” he wrote. “I miss him terribly!” Because the woman wasn’t charged, we didn’t feel we could write about the story.
Nothing King did helped. Kojak was never returned to his home.
Then, this October, dogs attacked and injured a cow in eastern Humboldt. We wrote about how Rancher Wesley Moore had to put down his cow here.
On the 19th of October, 2015, King was contacted by a deputy. King said, “I got a call from the sheriff’s department..asking if I owned a dog named Kojak…[S]urprised, I said yes but he’d been stolen over year ago.”
King said that the deputy told him, Kojak “had killed some livestock and also that I would be responsible for the livestock.” King eventually learned that he would be charged in the death of cow and that Moore could sue him in civil court in order to recoup the cost of the cow.
We attempted to learn more about the situation. We contacted Moore, the rancher, who told us that earlier in the year Kojak along with another dog had been involved with killing cattle belonging to another rancher. The dogs, Moore said, were known to have come from a home in the neighborhood. When confronted, the person at that house paid money for the cattle that were killed and promised that the dogs would be confined.
However, Moore said, that didn’t happen. “They were attacking my cattle on a regular basis but we could never catch ’em,” he explained. “For sure, 10 cows were missing.”
However, when Kojak and the other dog attacked Moore’s cow this October, they were caught in the act and put down.
Kojak’s chip was used to find his owner, Nathan King.
Eventually, charges were sent to the District Attorney’s Office. We contacted them and shared the information we had learned in the course of our investigation. On Saturday, December 12, the District Attorney, Maggie Fleming contacted us and told us that they had confirmed that King had reported his dog stolen. There would be no charges filed.
That’s good for King but, Kojak is still dead, at least one cow and maybe more are dead, too. But, in spite of all that happened, the woman accused of stealing Kojak is still free and we can’t name her.