NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) – “Justice for Fenway” and “Close Coastal down.”
That's what people chanted outside the Newport News courthouse Wednesday morning. Fenway is a dog that died after getting hurt at Coastal Dog Services nearly two weeks ago.
Right now, the business faces animal cruelty charges after a dog allegedly died in their care in June.
The owner was supposed to be in court Wednesday for the June incident so a judge could check on the status of his attorney.
According to the City Attorney’s office, owner Rick Tvelia hired an attorney Tuesday night.
Protesters lined the and filled the courtroom however, demanding Coastal Dog Services shut down completely.
The protest comes following the recent death of Fenway. Jason Fox said his dog died after being attacked at the business. Fox said what was once sadness, is now turning into anger.
“The numerous cases that have come to light is frustrating,” he said. “Things like this has happened before, and it was swept under the rug.”
One of the protesters, Samantha Lanier, was also demanding justice. She donated more than a hundred signs for the protest.
“A lot is surfacing that I think is going to play a key role in convicting him (Tvelia),” Lanier said.
Fox now wants boarding facilities held to a different standard and state laws changed to protect pets.
“No animal should be unsupervised like they were, and this could have been prevented,” Fox said. “Now our focus is making sure this doesn't happen again.”
Fox said the support his family is getting is overwhelming. He wants to set up "Fenway’s Fund," a fund for families who have and will go through similar situations and cannot afford emergency care.
According to the City Attorney’s office, there is a trial date set for Coastal Dog Services on October 25. The kennel manager, Jennifer Lewis is expected back in court October 4.
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