HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Humane Society of Harrisburg Area is responding to public outcry over the events surrounding Pursuit, a four year old dog who was facing euthanization before being taken by a volunteer.

The humane society says Pursuit arrived in their care in October 2021 and for over a year there was little interest in adopting him. In May and June 2022, the humane society says there were instances where Pursuit either lunged at or bit a person while in their care.

A third incident was reported by the humane society when Pursuit was said to have lunged at a man and attempted to bite him in January 2023.

Following the January incident, the humane society says experienced senior members of the staff evaluated Pursuit and brought in a third-party trainer to conduct mock meet-and-greets. Following those evaluations the humane society says they determined Pursuit was not safe to adopt and that he would be euthanized.

News of Pursuit’s pending euthanization led to a public protest outside the humane society on Monday. An online petition to stop Pursuit’s euthanization had more than 2,600 on Monday night.

The humane society confirmed that a volunteer removed Pursuit on Monday morning, saying “it was unfortunate Pursuit was taken from us.” The humane society says they are delaying any decisions regarding Pursuit as they evaluate potential next steps.

Swatara Township Police say they were called to the Humane Society to take a report of a theft and their investigation is still ongoing. Deputy Chief of Police Thomas Stauffer says the department is working with the District Attorney’s office on the investigation.

“HSHA thanks everyone for their concern and love for animals,” said the humane society on Monday evening. “We love them, too.”