Two out-of-state men were arrested Friday after authorities found them traveling with 10 dogs on the Dulles Greenway.
Tremain Dene Johnson, 44, of Lithonia, Ga., and Harry Ortice Puckett, 33, of Elgin, Ill., are charged with importing pet dogs into the Commonwealth of Virginia from another state without certificate of veterinary inspection, a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The men were stopped on the Dulles Greenway when an Loudoun Animal Control officer, en route to a call, stopped to assist the men handling a puppy on the shoulder of the road in the area of Shreve Mill Road, according to reports.
Upon further inspection, officers found the men were in possession of 10 dogs that appeared to be pit bulls or pit bull mixes of varying ages and degrees of health.
“By law we can seize animals if we feel their health is a direct or immediate threat. These dogs met that criteria and we had grounds for seizing,” said Adrienne Burton, chief of Loudoun County Animal Control.
Burton could not comment further on the health of the dogs.
Authorities say the men were transporting the dogs into and through Virginia from several other states.
Johnson and Puckett are scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 19 in Loudoun General District Court. Each charge carries a maximum one-year jail sentence and $2,500 in fines.
The seizure hearing to determine custody of the dogs also will be held Sept. 19. The dogs currently are being cared for at the Loudoun County Animal Shelter.
If a judge awards custody of the dogs to Loudoun County, they will undergo a temperament assessment and behavioral evaluation. If they pass, they can be placed in a shelter for adoption, Burton said.
Under Virginia law, no dog can be found to be dangerous or vicious solely because it is a particular breed, or crossbreed.
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