Vigil for stolen dogs in Franklin County canceled after owner confesses to killing them

Authorities say both dogs died of gunshot wounds


Terry Michel, charged in connection with the death of two black labs reported stolen out of Franklin County, confessed to shooting them to death, according to court records obtained by 10 News.

Court records also show that on Feb. 14, Michel transported the deceased dogs and left them on Carolina Springs Road in Rocky Mount.

The candlelight vigil previously scheduled for Feb. 18 in memory of the two dogs, Colby and Caleb, has been canceled, according to the Franklin County Humane Society Planned Pethood & Adoption Center.


The owner of two dogs reported stolen, then found dead in Franklin County has been arrested in connection with their deaths, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation began on Tuesday, Feb. 7 when two dogs, Colby and Caleb, were reportedly stolen from Waid Park, as we reported.

Stolen dogs found dead in Franklin County
Stolen dogs found dead in Franklin County, authorities say

The owner said the dogs had gotten away from him and were taken away in an unknown vehicle, authorities said.

As the investigation continued, the dogs were found dead in the 500 block of Carolina Springs Road on Tuesday, February 14, according to the sheriff’s office.

[READ MORE: Stolen dogs found dead in Franklin County, authorities say]

We’re told the dogs were taken to the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech for necropsies and the cause of death was determined to be gunshot wounds.

According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the owner of the dogs, 58-year-old Terry Michel, was arrested and charged on Feb. 16 in connection with the incident. Michel has been charged with the following:

  • Two counts of felony animal cruelty,
  • One count of filing a false police report,
  • Two summons for improper disposal of a companion animal.

Michel is being held without bond, authorities said.

“The Office of the Sheriff is thankful to be able to provide a resolution to this case, although the reasons why are still hard to comprehend,” the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said in a release. They added the incident has no connection to Waid Park.

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About the Authors:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.