A Man Reported Someone Stole His Two Dogs From A Park. Now, Police Say He's Confessed To Killing Them.

dogs killed owner killed them virginia
Source: Franklin County Sheriff's Office; Franklin County Humane Society

Feb. 17 2023, Published 3:49 p.m. ET

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A Virginia man killed his own two dogs but reported they ran away from him and were stolen by men in a park, police said.

On Feb. 7, investigators from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office began looking into a pet theft from Waid Park in Rocky Mount, officials said.

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The owner of the dogs, Terry Eugene Michel, 58, "reported that the dogs had broken away from him and were picked up... by men in an unknown vehicle," the sheriff's office said.

On Feb. 14, the two black labs were found deceased in Franklin County.

The dogs were taken to the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech and necropsies determined the dogs' causes of death to be gunshot wounds.

During the investigation, Michel gave numerous versions of what took place, all of which officials determined to be false.

On Feb. 16, Michel admitted to shooting both of the dogs two days earlier and then disposing of their carcasses where they were found in Franklin County, the sheriff's office said.

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Michel was arrested and charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty, and one count of filing a false police report. He was also given two summons for improper disposal of a companion animal.

He is being held without bond.

No motive has been established for the shootings, officials said.

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The Franklin County Humane Society Planned Pethood & Adoption Center had been planning to host a candlelight vigil for Feb. 18 in memory of the dogs.

“Due to the recent events and arrest of Terry Michel we are canceling the candlelight vigil set for February 18th," the organization said. "We ask that you light a candle tomorrow for Colby, Caleb, and their Mom.”


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