Man Charged in Connection to 21 Dead Dogs

13News Now Niko Clemmons has the story

HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- A judge denied bond for a man who is charged in connection to 21 dead dogs that were found inside a home last month.

58-year-old Vernon Silver is charged with 22 counts of felony animal cruelty to animals, 22 counts of general duties, and 21 counts of disposal of dead companion animals.

On March 6, police were called to check on the welfare of someone on Pochin Place in Hampton. When the officers arrived, they did not locate the person, but instead found 21 dead dogs, and one live dog inside the residence.

"If you can abuse an animal to the degree that the allegations seem to point, then you are a danger to our community, especially when the number is so great," Commonwealth's Attorney Anton Bell told 13News Now reporter Niko Clemmons.

According to court documents, dog-fighting paraphernalia, medications associated with dog-fighting, powdered supplements used to enhance muscle growth, and much more were found inside the home.

The property owner confirmed with police that Silver was the maintenance worker for the property and the sole key owner.

Bell stressed the fact they have never worked on a case as serious as this one in Hampton, which is why they plan to prosecute this case very aggressively. 
 
"This behavior will not be tolerated and if you think you can get away with it you have another thing coming," Bell says.
 
Bell also emphasized that this case could lead to other crimes.
 
"Dog-fighting gambling, gangs drugs, it's not just an isolated matter," Bell says. "It can have all types of ramifications."

The surviving dog was taken to the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter, where it will undergo an extensive screening process (medical, temperament, etc.) to see if it can be adopted.

Bell does not anticipate any plea agreement in the case.

Silver's preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 31.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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