CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A couple is facing animal abandonment charges after officials in Virginia believe they moved and left their dog behind.
Chesapeake animal control officers found the dog in the garage after they got a call from a concerned neighbor.
A search warrant says this all started on April 1.
Police went to check out the home on Millville Road after a neighbor called about an abandoned dog there on March 31.
WAVY talked to the neighbor who called it in, Omberlee Hellis, who says she hadn’t seen the couple in about a week when she called.
She says they had told neighbors they were moving, and moving trucks were in their driveway shortly after.
At the time, officials weren’t able to get in touch with the couple who lived there, Wesley and Tanya Collins.
The search warrant says that by looking through the windows, an animal control officer said it looked consistent with someone moving out.
“It looked as if someone was moving out the house, was somewhat empty, your major items were gone, your bigger pieces of furniture,” said responding animal control officer Jennifer Fly.
Officers then found Sprinkles, a pit bull type dog, abandoned in the garage.
Fly says the room was cluttered and there were debris and feces everywhere.
She says there was no water, and a bowl with a small amount of congealed food stuck to the bottom.
“I checked the entire garage. She didn’t have access to any water, so we did offer her water immediately, and I can tell you she drank for over 30 seconds straight. She sucked down an entire bowl,” explained Fly.
Fly says they gave the couple a 24 hours notice before they seized the dog, but still didn’t hear back.
“It’s sad to me that they treat her no different than the dishes that were left behind, or that couch they no longer want. They see her as no different than that. We’ll just leave her in the garage,” Fly said.
A petition for the dog was held on April 9, but neither Tanya nor Wesley showed up, so the dog was awarded to the Cheapeake Animal Shelter.
They have until Friday to appeal, or Sprinkles will be put up for adoption.
Officials say they made contact with the property owner, who provided the Collins’ names.
Fly says the couple faces charges secured through the magistrate for inadequate shelter and water.