HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A local group on Saturday held a vigil for 21 dead dogs that were found in a Hampton house earlier this week.
Officers were called to a home on Pochin Place March 6, and reported finding several dead animals inside. It was later confirmed that 21 dead dogs were found, along with one dog that was still alive.
Police arrested 58-year-old Vernon Alonzo Silver Wednesday evening and charged him 65 counts.
The Blue Angels Pitbull Advocacy and Rescue Resource gathered at the house Saturday for a vigil. The group gave each of the 21 dogs a name.
Regina Quinn, who is the founder of Blue Angels, says she planned the vigil to bring awareness to animal cruelty and was at the home the day the dogs were discovered.
“A surreal feeling like did this really happen right under our noses? How could this have happened?” she asked.
Silver was previously issued 32 summonses in April of 2014 after Animal Control removed more than a dozen bit pulls from a home in the city. He was found guilty in 2015 of animal cruelty.
Court documents show officers seized syringes and growth supplements from the Pochin Place home.
The one surviving dog is currently being evaluated at the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter. A Hampton police spokesperson could not confirm Thursday if Silver is suspected of dog fighting.
Animal advocates created created a makeshift memorial for the dogs outside of the house earlier in the week.
Blue Angels also collected donations for the only surviving dog and hope that the vigil will encourage people in the community to speak up if they see anything suspicious.
“I hope we can find better ways to not have to get to this point,” Quinn said.
Silver is due in court later this month.