"We believe we have all but one back," Clay County Humane Society Shelter Director Mike Sorrels told The Brazil Times.
On May 11, officials arrived at the shelter to discover the lock was pried off the exterior fence surrounding 20 kennels placed around the outside of the building. All the pens were open and approximately 16 dogs were missing.
Sorrels said the discrepancy between the initial report of 20 dogs and the figure of 16 reported missing was due to employees not sure about which dogs were sharing space during the period the incident took place.
"This has been a stressful situation. Having that many dogs missing all at once was nerve racking. We were scrambling to sort it all out," Sorrels said. "But we believe we have all the dogs back except one."
Officials are hopeful the 5-month-old German Shepherd puppy will be located safely.
"He's a little skittish, but we hope he will be found soon," Sorrels said.
Sorrels said he didn't think it was prudent to respond to the rumors circulating about the possibility of a former disgruntled employee being involved.
"The Clay County Sheriff's Department are continuing to investigate the matter," Sorrels said. "It's always a possibility -- anything is a possibility -- but I just don't think I should comment about a criminal investigation."
However, he did talk about beefing up security at the shelter.
"We are looking into installing a security camera system outside," Sorrels said. "But, for right now, we have taken several smaller steps -- like procedure changes and new locks -- to insure the safety of the animals and hopefully deter anymore mischief."
For more information about how to help the Clay County Humane Society, call 446-5126.
To report information about this case or any other criminal activity, contact the Clay County Sheriff's Department at 446-2535.