Connecticut animal rescues claim Va. Beach facility mistreatment

Dog rescues across Virginia state lines are now speaking out about a rehab center in Virginia Beach. Chenue Her has the story.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Dog rescues across Virginia state lines are now speaking out about a rehab center in Virginia Beach.

"Forever Homes Rehabilitation Center" on Broad Street provided a pit bull for adoption Wednesday. That same night, it mauled a woman in her 90's.

She died Thursday morning.

People who said they are familiar with FHRC started reaching out to 13News Now Wednesday night. They shared complaints and made claims, all directed at the center that adopted out the pit bull that attacked.

See Also: 13News Now looks into shelter that adopted out dog that mauled woman

Among the people who contacted us were leaders of two animal rescues in Connecticut.

One of those people said her particular rescue sent dogs to the rehab center in December 2014.

Weeks later, her group as well as the other one told 13News Now that center took all of their dogs back.

That other group is "Rescued In the Nic of Time."

The founder told 13News Now after her dogs were in Virginia Beach for a few days, she couldn't get a hold of anyone at the rehab center.

She and other people drove down from Connecticut unannounced, only to be told they had to leave the property.

Staff members brought the group's dogs outside.

The founder sent us documents to show that there was business relationship between the rescue and the center. One was a form with guidelines FHRC gave her when she first contacted the center. The other was a final evaluation of one of the dogs she sent there.

Once that dog and others got back to Connecticut, the founder put them in another rehab center with Mary Beth Stark.

"They were very fearful. Obviously, they shouldn't have been around a lot of other dogs. I've worked with dogs, I'm in my 50s...worked with them my whole life. Obviously they were mistreated," Stark said about the dog when it first arrived.

Stark said the death in Virginia Beach was sad for her and others in Connecticut. She said it could've been prevented.

A director from the center gave us this statement exclusively:

"FHRC was cleared (this morning) of any and all contributory negligence in the death of Mrs. Patterson's mother by the state vet and animal control. FHRC cannot make any public statement at this time as the Patterson Family is pursuing their rightful, legal solutions."

13News Now pulled state inspection reports for the rehab center for the past few years.

Although one of those inspections in early 2015 found problems including poor crate conditions and poor ventilation, and found that a dog died after others attacked it, every inspection since then found no issues of noncompliance.

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