JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) - After James City County police officers had to shoot and kill a wolf-dog hybrid after it attacked a dog and killed another, local residents are pushing for stricter regulations on cross-breeds.
The dog's owner, Brett Charbeneau, said the animal escaped from his fenced-in yard on Jesters Lane Thursday night.
"I let her out around 6:30 last night with my largest other animal and about ten minutes later she had finished digging her hole and had gotten out," Charbeneau said.
Charbeneau said the dog's name was Wahya and he'd adopted her from a rescue shelter a little over a week ago. He also owns three other dogs, including another wolf-dog hybrid and a coyote-dog hybrid. He said he didn't know Wahya was aggressive.
"There was no history of this kind of behavior, so it was kind of a shock for everybody, just tragic," Charbeneau said. "It's just so sad."
Police said the animal attacked a dog Thursday night and then killed a neighbor's Yorkshire Terrier Friday morning. Officers shot and killed the wolf-dog and brought it to Animal Control.
Major Brad Rinehimer of the James City County Police Department said police were in a hurry to find the animal.
"It's unfortunate that we had to do that, but people need to be very cautious of the kinds of animals that they have. It's three-quarters wolf, and that's a bad mix in a residential neighborhood," Rinehimer said. "I think our major concern was children. It's a pretty populated area where that wolf was located. If he was able to pick up a dog and kill it and carry it off, we were very concerned with what it might do with a child."
Neighbor Carrie Davis said she owns three dogs and won't let them out of her sight now.
"They won't go out without a leash on, and my grandchildren won't take them out no more because I don't want them to get bit or anything," Davis said. "It's got the whole street upset because a lot of us, almost everyone, has a dog."
Charbeneau said he was heartbroken by what happened.
"I don't even know how to compensate for something somebody loves so much and has lost," he said. "I don't know where to begin, but I want to contact them and try and just at least try and mourn together."
Police said Charbeneau is not facing any charges and did not appear to be in violation of any statutes, as cross-breed dogs are allowed in Virginia.
However, dozens of local residents want Charbeneau's other two cross-breeds banned. They are pushing the James City County Board of Supervisors to enact tougher regulations and the board says it's taking the matter seriously. The county attorney told WAVY.com he is researching ordinances in other areas.
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