Ranchers report five border collie puppies stolen from Moffat County | SteamboatToday.com

Ranchers report five border collie puppies stolen from Moffat County

Craig Daily Press

A border collie herds a flock during the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials. A litter of five border collie puppies were stolen Wednesday from a camp near Moffat County Road 4.

Moffat County residents are keeping their eyes and ears open for people who earlier this week stole a litter of puppies from the northern part of the county.

The theft occurred Wednesday afternoon at a sheep camp near Moffat County Road 4. Herders could see people from a distance leaving the camp in a pickup truck, and five border collie puppies were determined to be missing.

Rancher Steve Raftopoulos said it did not appear that anything else was stolen. He quickly alerted Moffat County Sheriff’s Office to the theft.

“They said they’d check Facebook to see if anyone was trying to get rid of border collies, but it’s kind of a difficult thing to investigate,” he said.

Raftopoulos and his workers were unable to get a license plate and are unsure if the truck belonged to a Colorado or Wyoming driver, or possibly another state.

Family friend Robert Dunn put the word out about the incident on social media, noting that it was a yellow pickup with a yellow topper believed to have been heading to Rock Springs, Wyoming, or Irish Canyon at the time.

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“Its not really common,” Dunn said of the truck’s coloring, noting that may help identify the culprits.

The puppies were still nursing, meaning the need to get them back soon is even greater.

“Hopefully if they’re going to do anything, they’ll just sell them and they’ll feed them,” Dunn said. “They wouldn’t be real easy to feed when they’re used to being on their mother.”

Raftopoulos said many canines have assisted his herders over the years, and while numerous puppies have been given away or sold, the theft of dogs so young just baffles him.

“I’ve never had something like this happen to me,” Raftopoulos said. “It’s just really strange.”

Anyone with information on the puppies should contact Dunn at 307-380-6811 or local law enforcement.