Dogs scheduled to be put down are stolen - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Dogs scheduled to be put down are stolen

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ESSEX, VA (WWBT) -

Thursday morning, Essex County Animal Shelter employees found that two cages were empty. Pitbulls that had been scheduled to be put down had been stolen.

A judge had ruled the were dogs dangerous in September after they viciously attacked their neighbor's 15 alpacas. Only 2 survived.

The pitbulls were scheduled to be put down Friday. Tappahannock Police are investigating if someone broke in or "if other circumstances assisted the dogs removal," said Tappahannock Police Chief James Ashworth.

Along with the empty cages, a window was found open.

Police searched the pitbulls owner's home but found nothing. Alfonso Norman is the dogs' owner. He had appealed the court's decision but withdrew that appeal three days ago.

"I feel like that county has let us down," said Abby Gauvin.

She and her husband own Upright Alpaca Farm. Their animals were killed by Norman's dog. 

"It shouldn't be so easy for someone to go into pound, take out vicious dogs in the middle of the night and there's no sign of them anywhere," she said.

Cages at the Essex County Animal Shelter are left unlocked because the employees say, they never needed to be.

However, police say they're confident the pitbulls aren't a threat.

"I am sure whoever took the pitbulls probably put them in a secure area," said Chief Ashworth.

Tappahannock Police say they're not ruling anything or anybody out at this time. They have two officers on this case but say they'll enlist additional resources to find the pitbulls.

Officers are asking for your help if you have any information on this case, you're asked to call Tappahannock Police.

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