VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A popular chiropractor in Virginia Beach said in court Monday that if anything, he should be accused of loving his dog too much and keeping her alive while suffering too long. Dr. Michael Whalen appeared in court because of the way he killed the dog and the way he then disposed of her body.
Whalen had at least 30 supporters in the courtroom, who had empathy for what one goes through when a beloved pet is dying.
“It has been hanging over me, like a black cloud. I am not an animal abuser and that’s what the charge was,” Dr. Whalen told WAVY’s Andy Fox outside court after the charge of animal cruelty was dismissed.
Dr. Whalen did not take the stand in his bench trial in district court. After months of suffering, Whalen kept Allie alive because he wanted more time with her. But on the morning of January 27, the suffering became too much, as she was having constant seizures. He took her to the garage and shot her in the top of the head, killing her instantly.
The judge thought due to her continued medical condition, Allie should have been euthanized and did not find Dr. Whalen shooting her in the head as cruel under the circumstances.
“Under the circumstances, I did what Allie needed me to do. For her, she was suffering immensely, and for 40 minutes that morning I couldn’t stand to see it go on. I knew if I tried to carry her anywhere [to a vet] for 40 minutes she would die, and I couldn’t stand it to see it go on. I knew if I tried to carry her anywhere, she would choke to death in the seat behind me. I did what Allie needed me to do.”
It was pointed out in court that there are two 24-hour animal hospitals nearby.
10 On Your Side asked Whalen to tell us what he had done for Allie the last year of her life. This was also brought up in court.
“I took her to the vet numerous times, and tried to get her stabilized, which we did. That bought me another year with her. I loved my dog, and she was happy. My patients loved her. She was happy, and enjoying life until that moment that night,” Whalen said.
The killing of the dog came to light 14 days after Allie’s death. On Feb. 10, a passerby discovered Allie’s partially exposed body in the dunes off 85th Street. Whalen had taken Allie’s body in a wheelbarrow and buried the body in the early morning hours of Jan. 27, and for that, he was found guilty of dumping a companion animal and paid a $500 fine.
“I thought Allie would love to be buried near the beach. In hindsight, I wish I would have buried her in my backyard, because you are allowed to do that… not at the beach, which is public property. I did not think about that, and I am guilty of that. I should not have done that,” Whalen said.