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City Kills Roving Dogs, Pet-Owner Cries Foul

According to Proctor, her five dogs got out of the fenced back yard of her South Side home seven weeks ago. They were on the loose for about an hour, she figures, when Richmond Animal Care and Control picked them up, taking them to its city shelter on Chamberlayne Avenue.

Proctor says she sent her husband the next day to fetch Angel, Baby, Ace, Duke and Razor — three pit bulls, an Australian shepherd and a Rhodesian ridgeback — and pay any fines associated with their escape. She says a shelter worker told him they couldn't get their dogs back until after the court date July 27.

But that would prove to be too late.

When Proctor met with her lawyer, Jay Spires, the week before her court date, she says he broke the news to her that the city had euthanized all five dogs.

Peggy Stoots, an animal-rescue volunteer, longtime shelter advocate and former neighbor of Proctor's, says the city seriously erred in euthanizing Proctor's dogs.

"The city has overstepped its boundaries again just like it did with the [Maymont] bears," Stoots remarks, adding that Proctor is a responsible pet owner.

But Britt Drewes, a city spokeswoman, says Proctor's history left the shelter little choice but to euthanize the animals. Some of Proctor's neighbors claim her dogs previously killed two cats in the area and maimed another. And recently a mother pushing her infant in a stroller says she was intimidated by the roaming pack of dogs, Drewes says.

The case against Proctor highlights the city's crackdown on negligent pet owners, Drewes says. A pet owner has 10 days to claim an animal the city picks up, she says. After that time it becomes city property. In Proctor's case, Drewes says, she didn't comply.

Proctor maintains her innocence and that of her dogs. "Those dogs were so special to me, they were like my kids," she says, adding: "My dogs would never growl or snarl at anybody."

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