Dog in abuse case disappears from shelter

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – One of the four dogs seized from a City of Buffalo employee when he was arrested on dog fighting charges has disappeared from the Buffalo Animal Shelter.

Police spokesperson Michael DeGeorge says a police investigation is underway to find out what happened to the animal.

Its former owner, Shanon Richardson, faces felony animal abuse charges and is due back in court Tuesday morning. Richardson was a cellblock attendant who was suspended after his arrest.

“And I can’t wait for my day in court,” Shanon Richardson said in December 2013.

The case has riled up animal lovers right from the start. Police say Richardson was training four pit bulls for dog fighting.

But now, a source close to the investigation tells News 4 a plea deal may be in the works to allow Richardson to plead guilty to less serious charges. His current felony charge would carry up to four years in prison.

The case has gone viral on social media, igniting emotions of animal lovers across the country who want Richardson held accountable.

In December, he told News 4’s Al Vaughters he’s innocent.

“I don’t fight dogs. I don’t have a bunch of killed dogs in my house. This is just ridiculous,” he said.

After his arrest we showed you the four animals in question, one of which had scars on its face. Now one of those dogs is missing.

A volunteer at the Buffalo Animal Shelter told News 4’s Lou Raguse the missing dog was being kept in a section of the shelter accessible to the public.

That news has local animal advocate Carol Tutzauer very upset.

“I think it’s unfortunate that there wasn’t more security with a dog that’s supposed to be partial evidence,” she said.

Richardson told Raguse he has not gotten any of his dogs back. And now many people are watching to see how Richardson’s case is handled in court.

He is due back in court at 9:30 am Tuesday. He said he’s received death threats since he was charged.

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