PATERSON - Two pit bulls rescued from a dog fight have been stolen from an animal shelter in northern New Jersey.

The theft occurred either early Tuesday or late Monday.

Paterson animal control officer John DeCando tells The Record newspaper holes were cut in the shelter's outside fence and the dogs' cages. DeCando says the dogs were targeted.

The dogs were rescued May 1 from a dogfight in a building on 16th Street in Paterson. One man was charged with animal fighting and two others were charged with animal cruelty.

DeCando says the pit bulls are friendly toward people but "deadly toward other dogs."

The dogs are both black/gray male pit bulls between 45 and 50 pounds.