Jul 1, 2014 1:58 AM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

Woman claims Basile officials responsible for dogs' deaths

A husband and wife are heartbroken over the death of their two dogs, and they say the Town of Basile is to blame.

The couple's four-year-old dogs, Vick and Fancy, were taken away by town officials two weeks ago after Vick was found loose in a neighbor's yard.

Five days later, the couple went to Mayor's Court to get the dogs back, but the hearing was canceled.

The very next day, they found out both dogs were dead.

All that's left of the Boxer and Shar Pei is a grave in the backyard of their owner, Cynthia Johnson. She can't help but relive the day they were taken away.

"I loaded them up, I told them they would be home soon, and they didn't come home," Johnson said. "They came home to be buried."

Vick and Fancy were like children to Johnson and her husband Royce. The dogs were included in family pictures, and even had their own Christmas stockings.

Johnson was devastated when she was told her dogs were dead. According to a report from Northside Veterinary Hospital, Fancy was already dead when she and Vick arrived, and Vick took "one last agonal breath and died."

"They just totally ripped a big part of my life apart," Johnson said. "They ripped a hole that can never be replaced."

She said the situation became worse when she demanded to see her dogs, who were delivered to her home.

"The dog catcher said, 'Ma'am, be careful; there are maggots,'" Johnson said. "I was like, 'What do you mean maggots? He just died two hours ago. How could he have maggots?' So I took the bag and I tore it open, and when I did he was just like covered in maggots. They were, like, everywhere, and he had sores everywhere, and they were eating him," Johnson said.

"I want someone to be accountable," she added. "I want someone--I literally want criminal charges. I felt like it was a crime. They murdered my dogs."

The exact cause of death for the dogs is unknown. However, the town they did release this statement:

"The Town of Basile regrets that these two dogs died, and the town officials and employees are very sorry for the loss of the dogs...As to this incident, not all facts have been determined, and the matter remains under investigation."



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