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Man accused of trying to steal dog

By Jennifer Lee

Rochester, N.Y. -- Several people alerted 13WHAM about a dog that may be in need of help on Harris Street.

Instead, we learned Robert Nugent of East Rochester may have been posing as a rescue worker and trying to take the dog.

Neighbors in the area said he claimed to be the president of the organization PAWS (Providing Animal Welfare Services) and tried to steal the dog named Kobe.

Carolyn Jones owns Kobe and said her neighbors asked Nugent some questions.

"Where's the animal society van if you're here to rescue this dog? And he was like, 'Well I'm this person,' and we come to find out he wasn't who he said he was," said Jones.

Jones' neighbors said Nugent claimed to be Matt Piccone, the president of PAWS, or one of their rescue workers.

Piccone filed a police report Wednesday after learning of the incident.

"I don't want people out here misrepresenting my organization, or that we steal animals or do anything illegal or anything like that," said Piccone. "That's just not what we do."

13WHAM spoke with Nugent at his home about the incident.  

"I never went there with the intentions to take the dog," he said. "It was pouring, the dog was shivering. I just couldn't leave it."

Nugent said he was notified the dog had been neglected. After seeing the dog, he decided to unhook the chain and try and find it better care, but the neighbors did not let that happen.

"They were pretty hysterical, waving the hammer and yelling at me," said Nugent. "They were not listening to me at any time."

Piccone said he met Nugent once and they only said hello, but Nugent said, "I've worked with Matt from PAWS."

As for Kobe the dog, the Humane Society said it willl be following up with the pup, but it is not investigating the matter.

PAWS has also donated a dog home to Kobe.

"We love our dog Kobe, and what (Nugent) said, it wasn't true," Jones said. "He was just here to steal a dog."

Piccone said he has contacted his lawyer and may take further legal action.

 
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