Warrant: Dog in deadly attack brought into state illegally

An animal rescue group that adopted out a dog that killed a 90-year-old woman did not have the proper paperwork to bring the animal to the Commonwealth.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Newly unsealed search warrants show Forever Home Rehabilitation Center (FHRC) failed to disclose a dog’s bite history before it mauled a 90-year-old woman in her home.

Linda Patterson and her family adopted a one year old Pitbull named Blue from Forever Home Rehabilitation Center in May. The same day, the dog fatally attacked 90 year old Margaret Colvin, Patterson’s mother.

The Patterson’s filed a $5 million wrongful death suit against Forever Home Rehabilitation Center.

“She’s a long way from being able to function normally,” said Irv Blank, Patterson’s lawyer. “She saw her mother disemboweled, virtually, and then her mother’s arm had to be amputated and her mother died.”

Court documents confirm what 13NewsNow already found in a previous investigation. The dog originated from a New York City Shelter and bit someone in December 2016. The dog was then transferred from New York to FHRC in February 2017.

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

Warrants say the dog was originally adopted out to a woman named Tia Walke. However, she returned the dog to FHRC after a dog bite occurred in her home. After reporting the bite to FHRC, documents say the center “failed to report the bite to the health department” and “soon thereafter placed the dog on craigslist for adoption.”

Search warrants state a Virginia Beach animal control officer interviewed FHRC owner Jamie Cochran, who said Blue was never examined by a veterinarian and did not receive a veterinarian inspection certificate after entering the state of Virginia.

Virginia state code requires an animal brought into Virginia must have a certificate of veterinarian inspection or must be immediately examined by a veterinarian.

“Forever Homes knew this dog had a bite history in New York, knew this dog had a bite history at the beach in Norfolk and still put this dog in Linda Patterson’s mother’s home,” said Blank. “It’s just unbelievable that they could do that.”

According to animal control officers, FHRC has 13 documented dog bites that have occurred with their dogs over the past three years.

In response to the newly unsealed warrants, Scott Hartin, lawyer for Forever Home Rehabilitation Center, sent 13News Now this statement:

“Forever Homes again extends its condolences to the loved ones of Ms. Colvin. While we offer our deepest sympathy to those impacted by this tragic event, we remain confident that once the legal process has run its course, Forever Homes will be fully exonerated of any allegations of wrongdoing.”

At this point in time, no criminal charges have been filed against Forever Home Rehabilitation Center.

Blue was euthanized after the attack.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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