Stolen dogs found dead in Franklin County, authorities say

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – Two black labs that were reported stolen out of Franklin County last week were found dead on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said that they responded to the 500 block of Carolina Springs Road around 3:15 p.m. after a caller found the black labs dead on the side of the road. Officials later identified the dogs as the labs that were reported stolen, Colby and Caleb, that were stolen from the Waid Park area.

[UPDATE: Owner of stolen dogs in Franklin County arrested, charged in connection with their deaths]

The two dogs broke away from their owner and chased after a squirrel before two men lured them into an off-white Jeep Grand Cherokee, according to the Franklin County Humane Society Planned Pethood and Adoption Center. The men loaded the labs and drove off while the owner was calling for them, according to the center.

“Please thank the community for all of their love in helping us search for Caleb and Colby. We are devastated,” Rhonda Michel, the owner of the dogs said. “Our hearts are broken at this senseless act of evil. We are devastated with the loss our of our beautiful Colby and Caleb. We thank the community for their continued support. We ask anyone that has any information to please contact the sheriff’s office.”

Colby and Caleb have been taken to the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg for further examination and to determine the cause of death.

“We are appalled at this senseless tragedy and extend our condolences to the owners of these dogs,” said Sgt. Megan Huston, public information officer for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said this is an active investigation and anyone with information is asked to call 540-483-3000.