Family devastated after pony dies from dog attack; owner charged

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield family is mourning the loss of a favorite pet to a vicious attack by dogs.

The family told 8News they witnessed two Rottweilers attack their pony in the back yard. The two dogs went inside the enclosed stable area, broke the pony’s leg and tore apart its face. Chesterfield Police told 8News that when they responded, the pony was on the ground and the dogs were still nearby ready to attack again. So, an officer shot one of the rottweilers, which was transported to animal services in stable condition.

The family said the pony was so badly injured, they had to call their vet to administer a euthanasia shot. Both of the dogs are currently being held at the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter.

On Thursday, police told 8News they identified the dogs’ owner as an adult female who is facing eight charges (four for each dog) — Depredation by dog, dog running at large, no rabies verification and no dog license.

43da8bb752d04535b4319e35d6de4f6cThe Richardson family said they are in disbelief that this could happen. The pony, named “Patches,” was 34 years old and had been a member of their family for 27 years.

“She had a lot of great days and one really really terrible day,” Chelsea Richardson said.

For Chelsea Richardson, Patches had been around in her family longer than she’s been alive. The pony was her brother’s 6th birthday present.

“She was here before me and it was just an incredible privilege growing up having an animal like that,” Richardson said.

She remembers the unique experiences that came along with having a pony as a pet.

“My bus would stop out at the road there,” Richardson said. “Sometimes my dad would bring the pony to the bus stop just to really mess with the kids on the school bus.”

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In regards to what happens to the dogs that attacked her pony, she said that’s not up for her to decide. But, she wishes the owner had done more to prevent it.

“The breed has enough trouble as it is,” Richardson. “If you choose to have a breed like that, you need to be extra responsible for it.”

One of the dogs was shot by an officer when police arrived on scene, but both dogs survived.

Both dogs are currently at the Chesterfield Animal Shelter.

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