Caretakers fearful that judge will order dogs to be euthanized

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IONIA COUNTY, Mich. – The fate of two dogs hangs in the decision of a judge in Ionia County who could order them to be put down Friday.

The dogs - Mario and Luigi - are accused of killing three goats and a cat belonging to a farmer. Another dog - Major, who ran away last summer - was with them as well. Mario and Luigi's caretakers contend that their innocent.

“Obviously the dogs didn’t do this,” says Byron Vamvakias, who was watching the dogs with his wife Susan the night they got away. “They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Common sense would tell you that.”

Mario and Luigi are pit-mixes who belong to Byron and Susan's son-in-law. Major is a German Shepard who belongs to the Vamvakias.

"If a dog had actually done that then their head would have been covered in blood,” says Susan. “There wasn't a drop of blood on any of the three dogs."

An affidavit written by the Ionia County Animal Shelter says that - judging by the photos of the dead goats - they were dead for 8-10 hours and noted the lack of blood found on any of the dogs, concluding that it was likely that the dogs didn't kill the animals.

The Vamvakias family is hurting emotionally but financially as well. They say animal control is charging them $40 dollars a day for boarding the dogs as they await the court’s decision. Since July, they say they’ve paid more than $7,000.

The case is set to go before a judge on Friday at 10:00 AM.

There's a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for the boarding of Mario and Luigi.

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3 comments

  • J.B.

    If you do not start telling both sides of the story FOX17 ,then you should really stop calling yourself a news agency.
    “They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Common sense would tell you that.”
    These 3 dogs were found in inside the dead goats pen, along with the family cat that was also killed at the farmers property where this happened? that wrong place and wrong time?
    “Obviously the dogs didn’t do this,”
    Yeah…..dey dint do nuffin…sound familiar?
    tell that to the family who found all their goats dead and the family cat shredded….
    i guess when it is one of the neighborhood kids who is attacked and killed next time, then maybe something will get done?
    Yet another “pet” owner who lets their dogs run wild and then expects everyone else to be responsible for the damage that they cause… what about that kind of “common sense”?

    • Anon

      First of all the cat wasnt shredded. Secondly, the owners didnt allow the dogs to run freely. They escaped from their fenced in yard. This was the first time they had ever ran loose. Also, the owners were searhcing for the dogs all day and contacted animal control when they realized they had escaped.
      Thirdly, animal vs animal attacks and people vs animal attacks are not linked. Animals arent serial killers who escalate.