An anguished plea by the Director of Lowcountry Animal Rescue about Samson, a pit bull removed from a dog-fighting ring and just recovered from his injuries, was broadcast on Saturday by WNCT. By Sunday, getting the word out through television and social media had ended the nightmare for Gloria Padgett, with the dog’s safe return.
Samson was stolen from Lowcountry Animal Rescue's adoption event at Petco in North Charleston, South Carolina, Saturday afternoon and had rescuers alarmed and concerned for the animal's safety.
According to News 2, organizers of the adoption event a man asked to take the dog out of the cage. He allegedly then just walked out of the Petco on Rivers Avenue without paying the $250 adoption fee.
Samson is a brown and white pit bull who was rescued from an Orangeburg dog fighting ring 7 months ago, with severe injuries to his back legs that took several months to heal.
"Most of the toes on his back left foot were broken," Gloria Padgett said. "He had infected dog bite wounds on him. We got him all healthy and he was a happy dog once again."
Padgett had been taking care of Samson and hoping to find a family to adopt him. Instead, someone stole him. The frantic woman told News2, “He has been in this situation [dog fighting] once before, and I don't want to see it for him again," Padgett said. "He's just a very sweet natured dog. It's not in him to fight."
"We are heartbroken," Joy Davis said. "We are sick. We put our heart and soul into this, and I just need to know this dog is OK. I cannot think this dog is being fought somewhere and potentially killed," she said.
An $1,100 reward was offered for any information leading to the return of Samson. The Director said the person who is accused of stealing the dog appeared to be a 20-year-old Hispanic man wearing a hat.
But on Sunday, Lowcountry Animal Rescue announced that Samson has been returned safely and is now in their custody.
The group's Facebook page states, "Simpson is fine, thank God. Details to come on how we got him back. We are still talking with the police. An extremely heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone that, prayed, posted and cross posted."