Franklin County couple continues search for dogs, answers

Colby and Caleb, both black labs, were stolen while out on a walk in the Waid Park area

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – A Franklin County couple is searching for answers and their dogs after they were stolen.

Rhonda Michel’s husband told 10 News he was out on a walk with their two black labs, Colby and Caleb, when suddenly the two dogs broke away and chased after a squirrel. Michel said all of the sudden, two men lured them into an off-white Jeep Grand Cherokee.

“Colby and Caleb … there are children kind of. We have children but they’re our babies right now. Having each of them, they’re brothers. We’re heartbroken that someone would do something so evil,” Michel said.

The Michel’s said they quickly tried to think of everything they could do to try and find where their dogs would be. They told us the dogs have chips, but they only provide information when they are scanned – like if they are found and brought into a shelter.

The word quickly spread throughout the Franklin County community about the stolen dogs.

“I am so grateful to the community at the outpouring, the love of this community … how they’ve all come together to look for our dogs that are our part of our family. I think the community feels that way too that this could happen to them,” Michel said.

This is the first time hearing about dogs being stolen from the park. However, Michel said the park has a history of people getting things taken from them.

10 News reached out to Franklin County Sergeant, Megan Huston, who confirmed the park has seen an increased amount of vehicle break-ins in the past year.

Lucy Goode wanted to enjoy a hike in the park when all of the sudden, her purse was stolen.

“Came out here … parked by the trail. I shoved my purse under my seat, thinking that was fine. We went on our way and when we got back to the car, they could see it, they had smashed my window … grabbed my purse, and sped off,” Goode said.

Goode had her own personal experience with one of the puppies, Caleb. Goode had actually found Caleb wandering around Rocky Mount and eventually brought him to the Franklin County Humane Society. Michel ended up taking Caleb home with her not long after.

Goode wants the dogs to be found just as much as Michel. In fact, she matched the original reward of $1,000 with $1,000 of her own for whoever finds the dogs and returns them.

Anyone with information is asked to call 540-483-3000. The dogs can be brought to the Pet Clinic of Rocky Mount, Franklin County Animal Shelter or the Franklin County Human Society Planned Pethood and Adoption Center.

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About the Author:

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.