Owner of animal shelter accused of importing dogs illegally

Lawmakers are working on legislation to regulate animal training centers that claim to rehabilitate aggressive dogs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- The owner of Forever Home Rehabilitation Center (FHRC) is facing criminal charges.

Jamie Cochran is accused of importing animals without proper certification (10 counts), a misdemeanor.

Virginia Beach animal control officers asked the Virginia Beach Commonwealth's Attorney's Office to assign a prosecutor to the case.

Cochran's shelter fell under scrutiny earlier this year after it adopted out a dog, Blue, which attacked 90-year-old Margaret Colvin.

Colvin died, and her daughter, Linda Patterson, filed a lawsuit against FHRC for $5 million.

Shortly after the incident involving Colvin, former employees of the shelter contacted 13News Now, expressing concern about the way the shelter operated.

13News Now looked into the shelter and the way Blue came to be there.

Search warrants showed Cochran's shelter failed to disclose Blue's bite history before FHRC adopted him out to Colvin's family and that Blue came into Virginia illegally.

Animal rehabilitation centers are not inspected by the state which means there is no regulation to ensure that dogs with behavioral issues, including aggression, truly are rehabilitated when they leave a center.

The only requirements for animals that come to Virginia from out of state, such as Blue, are that they have health certificates from veterinarians and their rabies shots.

State Senator Bill DeSteph of Virginia Beach is pushing for legislation that would help make sure situations similar to the one involving Blue do not happen.

Cochran's trial date on the misdemeanor charges is scheduled for December 18.

 

 

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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