Marion County deputies search for man wanted in animal shelter break in

Marion County deputies search for man wanted in animal shelter break in

MARION COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Marion County deputies have identified the suspect accused of breaking and entering the Marion County Animal Shelter earlier this month.

Corey Dontray Rowell, 21, is wanted in connection with taking a dog, cases of paper towels, bleach and 40 bags of dog food from the shelter on December 2, according to deputies. The dog was returned a day later by a good Samaritan, officials said.

The Marion County Animal Shelter immediately got to work when an employee found out the dog, Big Boy, was missing.

"We actually attacked it just as hard as the police officers attacked it," said Micheal Mason, of the shelter. "We were passing out flyers. We were going around looking at the neighborhood."

Big Boy was returned within 13 hours with an injury on his back. There are applications now in for his adoption. Big Boy has been at the shelter since December 31, 2013 after being found malnourished and underweight.

"All dogs here are special, but Big Boy, he just stuck out to us a little bit more because we'd seen the progress that he actually had made," Mason said.

Rowell is described as standing 5-foot-9 and weighing 155 pounds. Officials say he may be in the Marion area.

The Marion County Animal Shelter said Rowell was an employee of the shelter for about six months. He knew where the keys were to the dog's cage and supply closets, they said. He also turned the surveillance cameras away from the rooms.

"He actually knew the property, so he knew what he was doing," Mason said.

Anyone with information can contact Marion County Sheriff's Office at (843) 423-8216 or Marion County E-911 at (843) 423-8399.

"If a person will actually reduce himself down to the point where he will actually steal from a place he used to work at, better yet, an animal shelter, and take from the animals that are in need, there's no telling what he will do in this neighborhood," Mason said.

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