Man charged after animal welfare worker threatened at gunpoint

A man has been charged by police after allegedly tying up a woman at gunpoint inside a Melbourne animal shelter and asking where the cats were located.

Investigators charged a 44-year-old man with kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated burglary, armed robbery and firearm offences.

The alleged victim was parked outside The Lost Dogs’ Home in Cranbourne West about 10.20pm on Monday when a man clad in a mask and tactical-style camouflage approached her armed with what appeared to be an assault rifle.

Police allege he walked the woman inside, bound her hands with plastic cable ties and asked where the cats were located in the shelter. The woman, whom police say did not suffer any physical injuries, freed herself and raised the alarm.

The Langwarrin man has been remanded to appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning.

As part of the investigation police also executed search warrants in Langwarrin and Carrum Downs last night, seizing three firearms.

Local police attended the incident on Monday night with help from the critical incident response team, Victoria Police's air wing and the dog squad, but couldn't find the alleged offender.

On Tuesday, Senior Sergeant Glen Cruse said police were investigating a range of potential motivations for the offending.

The alleged offender had asked the victim where the cats were kept and told her he did not like animals being killed, Senior Sergeant Cruse told reporters on Tuesday.

The Lost Dogs Home in Cranbourne West.Credit:Nine News

"He was asking about where the cats are stored and talking about that he doesn't like that animals are killed. He seemed to sort of have the belief that animals are treated in a cruel way and are potentially killed at the premises."

Lost Dogs' Home spokeswoman Suzana Talevski said they were shocked and "extremely concerned".

No animals were harmed during the incident. Police said no cats were missing.

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