HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The Peninsula SPCA is now home to more than a dozen pit bulls rescued in Hampton Tuesday afternoon.
Neighbors watched as animal control officers descended on Abbey Court around 3:30 p.m. to remove the dogs from unsafe living conditions.
“I stopped counting after 10 dogs, and I’m literally standing in my window like one, two, ok, and they had three trucks out there, animal trucks, and pretty much filled up all three of the trucks,” said resident Nichele Hakeem, who saw it all go down.
According to Sgt. Jason Price, Public Safety Communications received an anonymous tip around 1 p.m. about multiple dogs being neglected at a residence there. When Animal Control officers went to the house and talked with the owner, they noticed several pit bulls in makeshift kennels and crates, sitting in mud and feces.
Price said probable cause was established and 16 pit bulls, both adults and puppies, were seized from the property. The dogs were taken to the SPCA on J. Clyde Morris Boulevard in Newport News to be evaluated.
“I’m relieved,” said Michael Napier, who lives near the home where the dogs were found. “I’m relieved to know that I won’t have to hear them barking all night long. I’m relieved to know the dogs are probably going to go to a better place.”
So far, police say there has been no evidence to indicate any dog fighting activity was taking place at the residence. However, there are other charges pending against the owner, 48-year-old Vernon Alonzo Silver.
“32 summonses have been obtained for the owner, Mr. Vernon Silver. Those summonses still need to be served on Mr. Silver,” said Cpl. Mary Shackelford with Hampton Police. “They’re broken down as 16 summonses for failure to provide adequate care and 16 additional misdemeanor summonses for animal cruelty.”
10 On Your Side tried to speak with the owner, but he declined an interview.
Anyone with information that may help police with this investigation is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.