NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - A Newport News dog owner is facing charges after two of his animals were found dead.
Animal Control and Police responded to the 300 block of Deputy Lane Friday and found two pit bull mix dogs dead in the backyard.
A necropsy determined the animals died from heat stroke.
19-year-old Delmonte Crawford was charged with two counts of felony cruelty to animals. He was also issued a summons for failing to provide the animals with adequate food and water and for failing to provide shelter.
Crawford showed his backyard to WAVY.com Tuesday. He insists the dogs had food, water and shade when he left the house at 11:30am Friday. He says guests periodically checked on the animals until 2 p.m.. Just before 5 p.m., Crawford received a call from officers at the scene.
"The only thing I could do is cry," said Crawford. "I felt as though two of my children had passed away."
He said he would never do anything to harm 2-year-old Polo and 5-month-old Brisko. Crawford believes an intruder came into his yard and beat the dogs.
"I believe someone had come to my backyard and viciously murdered my animals," said Crawford. "There was blood everywhere and I know from heat stroke you don't bleed. You foam at the mouth and become lethargic."
Police say no intruders were reported at the residence.
Crawford also pointed to Brisko's sibling Oreo, a third dog that was in the yard with the other two. He says Oreo was in the same conditions and is perfectly fine.
Crawford provided WAVY.com with a letter of recommendation from the Peninsula SPCA - where he volunteered and fostered animals for several years.
"It just hurts me, for someone to say I committed this crime, is not even possible," said Crawford. "I love animals."
He could face prison time for the two felony charges.
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