Two San Luis Obispo men arrested after trying to steal pit bull back from Animal Services

Two San Luis Obispo men were arrested after they allegedly tried to steal their dog back from the pound.

A person found a pit bull running loose in the 600 block of Lincoln Avenue in San Luis Obispo on Saturday, according to the Sheriff's Department. The person checked with people in the neighborhood, but took the dog to Animal Services after the owner could not be found.

The owner, later identified as Matthew Taylor Saldivar, 21, asked his friend John Scott Ransom, 20, to help him take his dog from the shelter, according to officials.

Sometime after 9 p.m. Sunday, the men scaled the fence at the animal services yard at 885 Oklahoma Avenue, crossed a roof and found the pit bull in a locked cage, according to the department. They then cut the fence and lifted the dog onto the roof of the shelter.

The men were caught and arrested, and now face charges of felony vandalism and criminal conspiracy.

The dog was released to a friend of Saldivar after he paid the fine to get the dog released.

Ransom is being held in County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail, according to jail officials. Saldivar was no longer in custody Monday afternoon; jail officials would not release his bail posting amount.

"These people not only put themselves at risk, but they put their animal at risk as well," said Animal Services Manager Eric Anderson. "We want people to turn stray animals in to avoid being struck by vehicles, exposed to poisonous substances or otherwise causing a nuisance, now they have committed a felony."

-Larissa Doust