RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC) is investigating who dumped an emaciated dog outside the office window of the shelter’s director on Sunday.
RACC Director Christie Chipps-Peters said a security guard at the Chamberlayne Avenue facility found the two-year-old boxer-pit mix at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday.
“He was completely emaciated. He was freezing cold,” she said. “His little paws started to turn under, which is what we see when death comes often.”
Chipps-Peters raced the dog in her personal car to Virginia Veterinary Center in Carytown. She estimated the dog was about 30 minutes to death.
“It’s just so heartbreaking,” she said. “The emotional side of our job sometimes takes a toll and he was just sort of the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
She’s certain the dog wasn’t a stray.
“The dogs we have trapped that are feral dogs, they’re fat and smart and find food,” Chipps-Peters said. “Usually, the dogs that are emaciated and horribly neglected like this is a human at cause.”
Officers are reviewing surveillance videos that may help them lead to a suspect. The case could prove hard to prosecute in court since abandonment would not be factored.
“For years we’ve worked and tried to prosecute for abandonment in the city and it doesn’t go anywhere because the judges have that opinion. They say, ‘Well they didn’t abandon him. They could’ve left him in the dumpster,’ which is true,” Chipps-Peters said.
However, she said this is a clear case of neglect. She urged pet owners to seek out help before it’s too late.
“If you need help with your pet, Richmond is so lucky to have so many resources, and vet clinics and people and rescues that will help you,” the director said.
RACC said they checked the dog for a microchip before he was rushed to the emergency room.
Lawmakers are considering a bill that would mandate veterinarians, public or private animal shelters, and releasing agencies to seek to identify the lawful owners of the unidentified companion animals that are submitted to them by scanning for embedded microchips.
HB 1330, which was sponsored by Del. James Edmunds (R-Campbell), passed the agriculture committee unanimously on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, RACC released photos from their surveillance footage showing the dog being dropped on off by an unknown person in a white sedan.
Footage shows the person set down the dog around 2:30 a.m. and walk off. The dog tried to follow the person before collapsing.
RACC said it was 19 degrees the morning the dog was dropped off. He stumbled around their building for seven hours before laying near their retainer wall until he was found later that day.
They're asking anyone with information to contact them on Facebook, email Robert.Leinberger@rva.gov or call Crime Stoppers.